What is mediation?

Since April 2011, there has been a requirement (with some exceptions) that anybody wanting to go to court should attend a meeting called a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MAIM) with an appropriately qualified mediator to find out about mediation and other non-court options.

Our Mediators are trained to help resolve disputes over issues faced by separating families, couples, or specific issues such as arrangements for any children as well as providing help in Employment and other areas where applications and claims are made to the various UK Courts.

Our Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) qualified mediators will meet with you and you opponent together and will identify those issues you can’t agree on and help you to try and reach agreement.

Mediation is an alternative method of settling disputes that avoids the need to attend a court or tribunal. It can take place before or after proceedings are started. A successful mediation allows the parties to avoid potentially time-consuming and expensive litigation. Parties agree to enter into mediation and work to resolve their differences with the guidance of a mediator.

Mediators are neutral and will not take sides, so they cannot give advice to either of you.

They will usually recommend that you obtain legal advice alongside the mediation process and will guide you as to when this should happen. Our Resolution and CEDR trained lawyers and Mediators will provide general legal information to both of you within the mediation if this is appropriate. If you decide not to mediate, this stage is necessary if you want to go to court, as the court will expect a certificate from the mediator before you start proceedings.

You may contact us directly or your solicitor may refer you.

Mediation assessment

Not everyone is ready for mediation at the same stage in separating, so the mediator needs to find out whether it is suitable for both of you.

The mediator will speak to you briefly about the process to ensure you understand how it works. They will then contact your partner and have the same conversation with them. Sometimes mediators prefer to do this face to face rather than on the telephone.

MEDIATOR’S ROLE

  • To clarify the issues and help you to achieve a solution which suits you both
  • To help you discuss matters constructively
  • To give each of you the opportunity to be heard
  • To provide you with impartial legal information
  • To ensure you fully understand each other’s financial situation
  • To ensure you receive correct information regarding your options
  • To enable you to receive independent legal advice upon any proposals before they are made in to a court order
  • To write your final agreement and ensure all documents have been fully disclosed to the other party and evidenced within the agreement

Working out the details:

  • Further meetings will be scheduled at which you may work on communication issues, renew arrangements for children, exchange financial information and consider options. The mediator may suggest other help, such as financial advice or support for your children. Between meetings you may wish to meet with your lawyer for advice.

Finalising the proposals:

  • Once you have proposals you both find acceptable the mediator will prepare a summary of them together with a summary of the financial information which will be sent to each of you to discuss with your lawyers. After you have both received legal advice and if you are both still happy with the proposals, the lawyers will convert the summary into a legally binding document and oversee any necessary implementation.

At Virgo Consultancy Services Ltd we represent private clients throughout the UK, using mediation to resolve a variety of disputes, including but not limited to:

  • Family/divorce
  •  Wills, probate and trusts
  • Residential property
  • Commercial disputes
  • Contracts
  • Employment

Our team are experienced and accredited CEDR and Resolution mediators.

We hold a Family Legal Aid contract and we are therefore able to offer Legal Aid to clients who are eligible and for those clients who are not entitled to Legal Aid we offer fixed fee packages as an affordable alternative.

For your convenience we provide a free initial consultation to enable us to assess your eligibility for legal aid and provide you with an affordable alternative where legal aid is not available.