Are you reticent about referring clients into the process of mediation? Is that because you are reluctant to hand the case over to another professional? Are you concerned that the case may be unsuitable?
Resolution are currently training mediators (originally by Henry Brown who prepared the course and subsequently by Suzanne Kingston and Karin Walker) in an advanced form of mediation, similar to the process adopted in civil cases. This “hybrid” mediation process allows the mediator to have separate meetings with the couple as individuals thereby rendering it “suitable” for extremely high conflict cases. It is also supported by lawyers throughout.
The expectation is that the lawyers will be effectively involved throughout in the following ways:-
- Attending a preliminary meeting
- Supporting the process throughout
- Providing information including Form E
- Attending some sessions, especially private meetings
- Liaising as the process develops (possibly by telephone)
- Drafting settlement documents
The process provides an excellent model for both the experienced and inexperienced family practitioner.
Mediators with this training may also be brought into the collaborative process to assist in an impasse situation through separate meetings with the couple – or potentially if required in solicitor led negotiations to unblock an impasse.
The delay and inefficiency experienced within the Court process is becoming increasingly and worryingly more prevalent. As the Government moves towards an online divorce system this may in time give rise to a formulaic approach to resolution of financial matters, also conducted by the couple via an online service. It must be more beneficial for the couple to receive support and advice as individuals.
The public, often confused by the various options now seemingly available, either want to be helped to reach a fair outcome or, if they are unable to reach their own decision, want a quick and cost effective adjudication.
This “hybrid” mediation model allows the couple to attempt to reach an agreement in a legally supported environment. If they are unable to do so on some or all issues, Arbitration with a jointly appointed independent Arbitrator can supply that determination/award in timely fashion.For further information please contact Paul Eaton or Arron Smith on 01227 786331.