What happens after a successful mediation process?

When solutions are found in mediation, what are the next steps?

Although it is quite hard to define what a successful mediation looks like, there are some common themes that mean that the mediation has achieved some or all the intended purposes.

For example, if in the mediation process the parties are looking to try to resolve the arrangements for their children or the financial issues on their separation, having a plan that they both think is suitable and will meet their needs and the needs of the children, is something that is often considered to be a successful outcome.

In some situations, there are some minor issues that are not resolved and therefore some points are left to be dealt with either through solicitors, arbitration or another form of dispute resolution.

When dealing with financial issues, when the parties have a set of proposals they agree on, the mediator will draw up a document called a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU). This document, just like the whole mediation process, is without prejudice, meaning that the discussions that have taken place during mediation and this final document can’t be referred to in any court process. The MOU is provided to solicitors so that they can give advice on the proposals before anyone is bound to the terms of any written agreement. Couples don’t have to have a solicitor but it is always advisable to get advice before preparing the necessary court documentation that has to be prepared, signed and filed with the court.

 The financial mediation process also requires the exchange of financial disclosure which provides any solicitors with the financial information they need to provide advice about the proposals. The mediator provides that information to any solicitors. The solicitor will then prepare a document called a “Consent Order” which confirms the terms of settlement and then an additional form is prepared which summarises all the financial information for the court.

 A Judge is then asked to approve the order, it is rare for anyone to need to attend court, it is normally dealt with as a paper exercise by the Judge. Using a mediator makes this whole process very straightforward because they will begathering all the information any solicitor needs to provide advice and then prepare the “Consent Order”.

When a plan has been reached regarding the arrangements for children, the MOU will outline this plan.  This can then be converted by solicitors into a parenting plan which is signed by both parents, or a court order is an order is needed or important for the children.

Often, along with having a plan for the issues in dispute, mediation has also provided the advantage of improved communication or at the very least a level of understanding as to the concerns and issues for both parties.

If you would like to know more about the mediation process or how it works, please do not hesitate to contact us 0800 206 2258 or hello@familymandm.co.uk

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