Divorce is often known for conflict and adversarial conversations—two spouses, backed by their aggressive lawyers, will fight it out over every last asset. At Divorce Mediation Service, we believe in a cooperative approach. Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes without the need to go to court where a neutral third party helps you to reach decisions about things that are important for you and your family. That can save you time, money and stress.
How does it work?
In mediation, a trained mediator speaks to you and your former partner separately at first, then aims to get everyone round a table to talk about what mutually-beneficial arrangements will be made for the future. It can be used to work out financial matters, divide assets, divorce or children’s schedules and any other practical decisions that need to be addressed. It is a process that focuses very much on the future, rather than the past.
Mediation is a confidential process. In the meetings, the mediator will guide you through discussions that help you both to explain what you want to happen and eventually to reach an agreement. If you don’t manage to agree on everything, you can’t refer in court to discussions that you’ve had in mediation but financial information can be used in court.
If you want to take your case to court, it is now – in most cases – a legal requirement to attend a Mediation (MIAM). The other person involved is also expected to attend a MIAM, but they don’t have to go to the same meeting as you.
Unlike a court proceeding, a mediator does not pass judgment or make a decision in any way. Their purpose is to help both sides come to an agreement that is best for everyone. However, if you are unable to reach an agreement, you can decide to go to court but you still need to show that you have attended Mediation.