If you are going through a separation, divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership and wish to try and reach an agreement on your finances then mediation may be able to help. Mediation is usually far cheaper than contested litigation and quicker too. In most cases, financial agreements reached in mediation can be finalised and signed off by the Court through correspondence, meaning that no further involvement is required from a Judge.
However, not all disputes can be mediated in the same way. For example, some former couples do not feel comfortable meeting with each other face to face in a mediation room due to concerns such as power imbalances or history of abuse and hostility between the parties. This can be very challenging for mediators as it does impact the effectiveness of the process and can be extremely difficult for both parties to achieve an agreement without being able to communicate effectively with one another.
In such situations, mediators can offer a ‘shuttle mediation’ option. In this option, the couple will be in separate rooms while the mediator remains in the same room and ‘shuttles’ between the two sessions. This type of mediation can be useful for a number of reasons, for example, where the former couple are not able to agree on their financial settlement due to issues such as joint debt and assets, or where there are fears of further abuse or retaliation after separation.
Shuttle mediation uk is also very useful for a couple who do not want to meet with each other in person for various reasons. This is a very common situation in separations and divorces where parents do not want to see each other, especially if there are issues such as domestic abuse or coercive behaviour. This can be very challenging for a mediator who must be mindful of the safety and wellbeing of both parties in order to ensure that their mediation continues.
If you think that shuttle mediation might be a suitable option for you, then this will be discussed with your mediator at your Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). The MIAM is the initial meeting that all participants have with their mediator where the mediator finds out about your circumstances and helps you decide whether or not mediation is appropriate and meets your needs.
There are a number of different types of mediation and you will discuss which one is right for you at your MIAM. You can choose to mediate in the same room as your partner, with one mediator, or with a team of mediators working together in co-mediation.
If you opt for hybrid mediation uk, then the mediator will spend time with each of your solicitors in their own rooms and with the other party in their own room, taking it in turns to meet with both of you for about 15 minutes at a time. This will allow you to discuss your positions with the mediator and your solicitor, and explore your options in more detail.