This page describes the process applicable to both the relationship breakup and to the dispute in any other area of your personal life.
Note however, if your personal dispute has a business context then you may be interested in looking at our section about business mediation and the section about the business mediation process.
We will provide a vigorous, knowledgeable, stimulating environment in which you feel comfortable in deciding what you can claim and what you will accept.
We will dare to challenge pre-conceived misunderstandings. We will help you to order priorities and light up the dark corners of your dispute.
We will help you to be free of the burden of worry and the waste of time.
Our job is to provide the mediation service you want. We suggest you start by considering these options:
- a full day live mediation conducted in a similar way to a business mediation. The Mediator will attend for as long as it takes.
- a less formal live mediation at a place you choose. Allow time for the Mediator to assess information you provide in advance of the meeting. Meeting likely to be limited to three hours. Could be any time of the day.
- a process which takes place entirely online – that is by telephone and/or email and/or other Internet communication.
When you assess these alternatives on one by one basis, by all means consider how you might like us to mix them in such a way as to suit your personal requirements.
The first stage
Arrangements are made through this website. Our system will guide you seamlessly through the procedure. A few days from now you could be sitting in your own home, or an office room, with your counter-party and the Mediator, congratulating yourselves for having found a way out of your problems at last.
The Mediator’s professional task is to read and understand your case, your aims, your history, from the papers you send to him. He is not “mediatopaedia”. He does not need to understand how magnetic resonance imaging differentiates a stomach ulcer from the beans you had for breakfast. What he does is delve into the history to discover how you came to disagree > what you are really arguing about > what concessions and demands have already been made > what other areas of concern there are, besides money.
Time is the big issue in deciding what sort of a mediation you want. Unfortunately, no one has yet found a formula for estimating how long the mediation might take. Some of the reasons for this uncertainty are:
- new issues arise in the course of the mediation which have not previously been considered
- a mediation is the equivalent of “a day in court”. Being able to talk and be heard is often very important for a party to mediation.
- you might decide that it would be useful to have at least two sessions rather than trying to cover everything at once
- an online mediation might be settled online, so that the final meeting, whether live or online, is redundant and can be cancelled
- the range of types of dispute mentioned in this section require an equally broad assessment of how best to resolve your particular dispute. In discussing with you when you first speak to the mediator, an important topic is the present relationship you have with your conflict party.
What you tell The Mediator will affect his suggestions as to the type of mediation most suited to you and the extent to which it may be sensible to use face-to-face meetings as well as private “caucus” discussions.
The mediation process - step by step
Either you or your conflict-party may already have spoken to the Mediator on the telephone.
You can visit our page at Request to Mediate. That page asks you questions about yourselves and the dispute. If at any time in the entire pre-mediation process you would like help, just email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Your submissions trigger help and simple requests from our office as to what to do next.
- Your conflict-party also completes the information page and receives an identical message.
- Each side sends in a position statement / skeleton case and any other documents you decide are relevant.
- If you want a fixed date for a live or online meeting you have probably fixed it by now.
- The Mediator will read and assimilate your documents and assess your “case”.
- We come back to you with a fixed price for the hours you have specified.
- You accept our fee estimate, settle the invoice and sign the mediation agreement.
- The Mediator is now actively working for you, communicating by phone and email.
- If you have not yet spoken to the Mediator, he may now contact you for a short discussion. He will explore your case with you and give you the opportunity to ask questions.
- Separately or together, live or online, the Mediator will address both parties, setting out the ground rules for the remainder of the mediation process and confirming his understanding of what each side wants from the mediation. The Mediator will want to be sure that you fully understand the process and are happy with it.
- The next identifiable step in the process is when the Mediator starts to act as an intermediary, not only relaying information between you but discussing every message received and the proposals for your message in reply.
- At every point he will question your assumptions so that you have to acknowledge the detail of the position you maintain . The Mediator may then be able to identify possible avenues for settlement of issue after issue as more and more information becomes available.
Whether the mediation is live or continuing online, the process is the same. The Mediator will communicate privately with each party, testing your assumptions, passing on information from the other side, and, where possible, suggesting variations to your strategy and alternative solutions.
It is so much easier to talk in front of the Mediator then it would be to give evidence in court.
Some time towards the end of the time listed for a short mediation, the Mediator will draw in the strings, bring the parties together in the same room if they are not already so, to present his summary analysis of the dispute and the extent of continuing disagreement. He will then most probably, directly suggest to the parties fair compromises for any outstanding issues.
Finally everything has been sorted out. Neither of you has 100% of what you would really like but both are happy that you have a workable and fair arrangement and that the other of you is unlikely to break it up.
So now it’s time for the Mediator to set down what has been agreed as a memorandum of understanding. It will provide only the terms you have agreed. It is now up to your respective solicitors to deal with the finer points, hopefully tomorrow.