The Court requires mediation whether for divorce/separation or any other area of dispute

Introduction

This article provides help and ideas for a letter or email message for when you need to approach the other side in your dispute and suggest mediation.

This situation may have arisen because you have been virtually ordered by the Court to go to mediation before the court will further consider your case. Alternatively of course your solicitor or some other adviser may have suggested mediation, or you may simply have reached the point where you are fed up to the back teeth with the stress and waste of time and resources involved in arguing and you feel that an experienced third party may be able to help both sides come to a satisfactory arrangement.

Whether your dispute is connected to your divorce and separation, or your business affairs, your problems relating to land, or a deceased relatives will, the question of mediation is one of the first to consider.

If you have investigated the prospect of mediation and decided that it is the best way forward, your next step is to convince your conflict party. Depending on the state of your relationship, that can be difficult. Most mediation intermediary organisations (websites with lists of mediators) will use a standard letter with little or no adaptation to suit the circumstances of your particular dispute. That is quite hopeless way forward.

Whether the money value of your dispute is £100,000 or £10 million, it is really important that the letter goes out under the hand of either you, having done your research, or your chosen mediator – who can explain the application to your particular dispute.

Of course, your starting point must be to choose the Mediator for your divorce or separation, whatever other circumstance is the reason for your dispute. We accept that those linked articles are promoting our own business but nevertheless, they contain the basic essentials you need to consider.

Although it is unlikely that you have been involved in mediation before now, we do assure you that the whole process is not as complicated as many of the Internet sources would have you believe. We revert to the question of how to convince your conflict party.

Below, we give you draft paragraphs. They will not suit every dispute but we hope it will help you to identify some of the key points, either directly or by your using your own words when you have read a few more pages of this website, based on the links we have provided.

If you have not yet had the opportunity to explore our website, we respectfully suggest you may wish to start with an overview of mediation either for your divorce and separation or for business and all other subjects.

If you would like the appropriate letter to be sent out by us, then of course we should be delighted to help you. The easiest way to give us the information we shall need this for you to complete our  Request to Mediate (business) form or, in a divorce situation, our Request to Mediate form. The acknowledgement we send out by email will ask you whether you would like us to contact your conflict party. All free of charge, of course.

Finally, please note that in formulating the text below, we have intentionally kept the tone informal. If you want to leave the past behind and get on with the future, today is a good day to start. You could say that your agreement to mediate and your agreement on who your mediator shall be, are your first two steps in agreeing your dispute.

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Dear [appropriate name],

[Heading: whatever you usually use in connection with this dispute]

[heading – second line] Proposal for mediation

We feel that we have been arguing about this long enough. We think it’s time we agreed at least that we shall never come to a deal. We are already at the door of the court and we understand that it will not be long before some judge insists that we go to mediation anyway. We think there’s little point in waiting for that. We may as well choose a mediator now and get on with it. We have no more idea than you have as to how it will turn out but we think it’s worth a try.

We looked at a lot of websites. The bottom line is that we can use one of these agency types of website where they give us a few names or we can use a mediator who has his own website or at least where we are looking at a small number who work together.

[I have no particular axe to grind about where we go but I’m pretty much convinced that we should find someone about whom there is a lot of information rather than pick a name from a list. I have isolated the site at www.themediator.co.uk as an example. I’m sure there are others if you don’t like them.]

On our side, we are quite happy to investigate further but first we need to know that you will go along with the proposition that mediation is a good idea.

We have actually learnt a lot about mediation through our basic research. It is absolutely clear that there are advantages in that it works – at least most of the time.

We think it could be particularly useful in our case because:

[we are dealing with an ongoing contract which we can’t complete whilst we have this disagreement hanging over our heads]

[There’s no way we shall ever agree. Either we go to court and pay a small fortune to our professional advisers or we try mediation]

[We have spent two years arguing about this. We don’t how you feel about the waste of time, but for us there are wasted opportunities that every turn because our senior team has been tied up with our ridiculous dispute]

[I have had a quick word with our solicitors about mediation. Rather to my surprise, they think it is a good idea. More importantly, they have told me quite explicitly that if you turn down the opportunity to mediate and simply bash on with our litigation, you will give us a tremendous advantage when it comes to entitlement to legal costs. That is fine by us as it reduces our risk in litigating, win or lose.]

[Our solicitors have told us to put this to you formally – just to make sure we are covered. So here it is:

If we do not hear from you in relation to this open offer to go to mediation, within 14 days from the date of this letter, we will take it that you reject the offer to mediate. As and when litigation is underway we shall make clear to the Court that we have been willing to take our dispute to mediation and that you have refused that route.]

In such circumstances we reserve the right to produce this letter to the Court in the context of an application for a stay of proceedings or alternatively at the conclusion of the litigation and ask that this proposal to mediate be taken into account when legal costs are considered by the Court, regardless of the outcome of the proceedings.

If you are prepared to accept mediation, then we are prepared to set up the mediation process immediately, subject only to our agreement as to the identity of a mediator and the fixing of a date for the holding of the mediation.]

OR, for a divorce/separation situation:

[I don’t know what advice you have received from a solicitor or anyone else but it’s absolutely clear that we shan’t get very far in court even if we wanted to, without going through this mediation process that all websites talk about. As far as I can see, doing nothing is not an option, so we may as well get on with it now]

[We have been discussing/arguing for long enough OR . . . . . .we now reach the point where there are still a few things we need to sort out between us and I can see that it’s getting difficult to agree OR . . . . . . It seems that we have now sorted everything out between us. Just to make sure we haven’t missed anything important, and frankly, to be sure that neither of us can criticise the other in the future, I would like to . . . . . . I think it’s time we found a mediator and spend a few hours to sort everything out. It will cost an awful lot less then solicitors and I’m sure it’ll be over a lot faster.]

[We may as well choose a mediator now and get on with it. I have no more idea than you have as to how it will turn out but the sooner we sort ourselves out there happier we shall both be and I certainly think the children will stop looking so miserable].

[I looked at a lot of websites. The bottom line is that we can use one of these agency types of website where they give us a few names or we can use a mediator who has his own website or at least where we are looking at a small number who work together.]

[I have no particular axe to grind about where we go but I’m pretty much convinced that we should find someone about whom there is a lot of information rather than pick a name from a list. I have isolated the site at www.themediator.co.uk as an example. I’m sure there are others if you don’t like them.]