The Mediation Procedure
What to expect?
The Mediators will make contact separately with each party to discuss the mediation process informally, often by telephone. They will send out a mediation information form, asking for basic details and for information on what issues both sides would like to discuss in the mediation process, in order to set an agreed agenda.
As with the traditional role of solicitors, if the parties are discussing financial information they will be asked to produce financial documentation in support.
Usually, the mediation process will take between 3 to 5 meetings but this depends on the complexity of the matter. Meetings will usually last up to 1½ hours per session and can be spread over a period of time. However, for busy individuals mediation can be structured by breaking down the meetings over a day, with breaks in between. That can all be agreed at the outset.
If the mediation process is successful, the Mediators draw up a “Memorandum of Understanding” which sets out the decisions that have been reached.
If the parties then go on to officially separate or divorce, that Memorandum is utilised by their solicitors to convert the proposals into a binding court document, thus saving time and costs.
What about the costs?
Costs are established at the outset and will depend on what the parties wish to mediate about. Usually it is £405 plus VAT per session for co-mediation meetings and preparation, which is split between the parties. There is no charge for correspondence which is encouraged to be kept to a minimum in any event.
The cost to use a sole Mediator ranges from £150 plus VAT per hour to £405 plus VAT per session (usually 1 ½ hours), depending on the experience of the Mediator. The cost is usually split between the two parties.