Produced in partnership with Suzanne Kingston of Mills & Reeve LLP

The following Family guidance note Produced in partnership with Suzanne Kingston of Mills & Reeve LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Mediation—process
  • How the mediation process works
  • Third parties
  • Acting for a party in mediation
  • Glossary

How the mediation process works

The general process for mediation is:

  1. the clients choose mediation and decide what type of mediator they wish to instruct and the type of mediation model they wish to undertake—see Practice Note: Mediation—introduction

  2. the parties approach a mediator (potentially via their own lawyers) who then engages with the couple by way of a three-way email setting out how they propose to undertake the mediation

  3. often the mediator will send a preliminary information form (see precedent: Mediation information form BFLS 6E [21003]) to the parties for them to complete and return—this is the only confidential document in the mediation and it allows the parties to set out their own individual views of the elements in dispute and to request a separate short meeting ('intake session') at the beginning of the mediation to see whether or not mediation is the right process for them

  4. at the intake session the parties will each be offered the opportunity to see the mediator for approximately 30 minutes on their own to talk about mediation in general, the principles of mediation and how it will work, together with the specific issues in their own case—the mediator will then have an understanding of whether or not mediation is suitable and whether the clients like the idea of going forward in mediation