MIAMS (Mediation, Information and Assessment Meeting)
The initial meeting between each client and the mediator usually lasts 60 minutes and is confidential. This provides the opportunity to discuss the client’s situation, and explore the options to resolve matters; mediation or possibly another form of dispute resolution. Both Hazel and Judith conduct MIAMS.
If mediation is appropriate, further meetings are held jointly, with both clients and Hazel and Judith, and last 90 minutes. Very occasionally if particularly difficult issues arise, it may be helpful to use shuttle mediation, with clients in different rooms, and the mediators shuttling between them.
Child Inclusive Mediation
Children from 10 years of age should be offered the opportunity to speak to a mediator, to express their wishes and feelings about the changes in their lives. This voluntary meeting with Judith is confidential, but children may ask the mediator to share their concerns with their parents.
MOU (Memorandum of Understanding)
At the conclusion of mediation, the mediators will draw up a summary of the proposals that have been made in mediation, covering issues such as property matters, finance arrangements and child arrangements. This document is confidential and is prepared on a ‘without prejudice’ basis. This means it cannot be used in court proceedings but it can be used as the basis to draft a Consent Order which will be made legally binding by the court.
OFS (Open Financial Summary)
Complete and accurate financial disclosure is required for clients to be able to make financial arrangements. At the end of mediation, this financial information, including all assets, liabilities, income and expenditure is recorded in an OFS and is used to support the drafting on a Consent Order.
Although mediators are impartial and cannot advise clients, most clients instruct a family solicitor to provide them with legal advice. All session notes and any other documentation from mediation can be shown to your solicitor. Occasionally, clients might decide to bring their solicitors into mediation.
Independent Financial Advisor
An IFA can provide impartial financial advice to both clients and may attend mediation sessions if both clients agree.