You can use mediation at any stage of a dispute.
Mediation offers a constructive way to manage and to resolve conflict. As a mediator, I am a neutral, third party who helps both parties to focus their energy on working out practical solutions to a problematic situation, as opposed to continuing to fight. I know how difficult this can be and am trained to manage and support you both while remaining completely impartial. A mediated agreement aims to provide the best possible outcome for ALL concerned. I just help you to negotiate that settlement. The process is strictly confidential and without prejudice which means that anything agreed in the mediation is not legally binding until you make it so.
Depending on the complexity of the situation you may need between one and four sessions. Some people need more, some fewer.
After each session, you will receive a record of the session outcome. This is so that, if you wish, you may seek legal or financial advice on the points that were discussed. That way, you can ensure that any choices you go on to make are fully informed. And your next session, if one is needed, will start from a place of clarity.
Once an agreement is secured between both parties, I formally record it and make it available to you. You can then choose to have this made legally binding. Unless you do not wish me to, I will also keep a record of your agreement on file.
Each person attends their own Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). This one-on-one session gives each party in the dispute an opportunity to privately discuss how mediation works, and to ask me as many questions as they need. It also enables me to determine whether the particular case is suitable for mediation. Each of these meetings lasts up to an hour and they cost £50.
Thereafter, both parties are invited to a joint mediation session, which lasts 90 minutes and costs £75 each.
I am a member of the College of Mediators and of the Family Mediation Council, and have been practising as a Community Mediator for over two years. I gained a further qualification in 2018 as a Family Mediator. My ongoing work at Citizens Advice means I also understand the complexities of the welfare state, and how this works in relation to relationship and housing issues. Prior to this, I worked in a variety of small businesses in London, Dorset and Somerset while bringing up my family. I hold a philosophy degree from Bristol University.
I know that every dispute is different. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have and I shall get back to you as soon as I can.