Mediation Process

What is the Form A / C100 Form and the FM1 Form and Can You Provide It?

The government wishes all parties involved in divorce and separation and/or child contact arrangements to understand what mediation is and whether it can be suitable for them.

Any party who wishes to pursue family matters through the court must have the relevant form signed by a suitably qualified mediator to show they have taken part in this process.

This form can be signed as part of your MIAM. Providing a signed copy of the relevant form is part of our service.

What is the Mediation Process and what does mediation give me?

Mediation has three stages:

Stage 1 –  the Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

Stage 2  – one or more mediation sessions.

Stage 3  – writing up your agreements into a document called a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which provides the details of all the decisions made. This document can be submitted either to your lawyer, or to lawyers we work closely with, to be formalised in court.

Stage 1a – A (single) Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

The Process What mediation gives you at this stage
This meeting is usually done with each client separately. It allows the mediator to understand your relationship background and your mediation issues and for you to ask any further questions about mediation. The outcome of this meeting is a full understanding as to the suitability of mediation and an idea of its potential cost.
  • A clear view of what mediation is.
  • A list of the issues you wish to mediate.
  • Signposts to other bodies that can help you.
  • A signed relevant form to show you have been to a MIAM.

Stage 1b – A (joint) Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

The Process What mediation gives you at this stage
If you and your ex-partner have an amicable relationship and you are confident that mediation is suitable, your first session can be a joint appointment. At this meeting some time is allocated to ensuring mediation can meet your needs and then time is allowed for some mediation itself. As per stage 1a and in addition:

  • If you are mediating your financial agreement, the first joint mediation will give you a template which lists out all the financial information you will need for the next session.
  • If you are mediating your children’s needs, any agreements that you make will be written into a document, called a Statement Of Outcome, which will record the decisions made.

Stage 2 – One or more mediation sessions.

The Process What mediation gives you at this stage
These sessions are used to gain a full understanding of the current situation in detail either with respect to all the finances and/or what is currently happening with the children, to isolate the issues and agree how to manage these issues, to share with each other what each person wants in their ideal world and to agree on a plan for the future – financial and/or child arrangements and how to make this plan work.
  • A Summary Statement from each session detailing what agreements have been reached, what issues still remain and what is required for the next meeting.
  • When all the finances have been disclosed, an Open Financial Statement can be written which details your current financial position including all your assets and liabilities. This document can be taken to your solicitor to seek advice.

Stage 3 – Writing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The Process What mediation gives you at this stage
The final plan is written up into an MOU by the mediator. This plan will not be legally binding, i.e. it cannot be used in court, until it is made into an order by a solicitor and submitted to court. An Open Financial Statement may accompany this MOU which is legally binding.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding detailing all the decisions you have reached including, where relevant:
    • how the assets and liabilities are to be split,
    • what child support will be paid,
    • what spousal support will be paid,
    • all child living arrangements.
  • If financial information is disclosed, an Open Financial Statement.

What issues can I mediate?

You may mediate any issue you both agree needs discussing including:

  • Who will petition for divorce and on what grounds.
  • What and when to tell the children.
  • How to share the assets and the liabilities such as the family home, pensions, credit card debts and outstanding loans.
  • What child support should be paid.
  • What spousal support should be paid.
  • What are the arrangements for the children.
  • Where should the children spend their holidays including any special religious events like Christmas etc.

Do I Need A Solicitor?

We do advise that during mediation you consult a solicitor. They will advise you on what you may expect if your case goes to court. This helps you negotiate your settlement and provides valuable input to allow you to make informed decisions. The mediator will advise you when seeing a solicitor may be of help.

Can I Get Legal Aid for Mediation?

You may be entitled to legal aid for mediation. The below government website will allow you to check if you are eligible for free mediation. If you are eligible, IFM offers mediation under the Legal Aid system East Finchley.

https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

What is the divorce process and can you handle my divorce for me?

The divorce process in England and Wales is fully explained in the website below. This government website will take you, step by step, through the stages and documents you require. During mediation we do not fill in the relevant forms. You will need to do this yourself or employ a solicitor to do this. You may download these documents from the website.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Divorceseparationandrelationshipbreakdown/Endingamarriageorcivilpartnership/Gettingadivorce/index.htm

Mediation will allow you to sort out any issues you and your ex-partner have to be able to submit your own divorce papers. We can provide a solicitor who can take your final mediated agreements and turn them in to the relevant court documents.