WHAT HAPPENS IF MEDIATION DOES NOT WORK?
As a mediator at Solent Family Mediation in Weymouth, I always felt a degree of personal responsibility if I was unable to assist clients in resolving their parenting or financial conflicts.
The toughest aspect for me was sending customers away with the knowledge that they were about to spend tens of thousands of pounds on a judicial procedure that might have been avoided and that their dispute would not be resolved for months or even years.
I believed there must be a better approach for customers who cannot reach an agreement, therefore Mediate UK set out to create more possibilities. Our independent barrister review packages were created with the assistance of seasoned attorneys and a well regarded barrister chambers.
EXPERT BARRISTER EVALUATION
The barrister reviews may be utilized for either parental or financial issues, and we retain the barrister with the highest knowledge in that field. Mediate UK is one of a handful of small enterprises licenced by the Bar Council to provide direct bar education. This enables us to retain the services of an independent lawyer on behalf of our customers.
The family law attorney creates a report describing the law, how it applies to your situation, and the potential outcome of a court proceeding. The report is not legally binding and can be further negotiated between you and the other party after it has been received. However, it gives you as close an answer as you can get to what would happen in court without spending tens of thousands of pounds to find out.
Importantly, it comes from a neutral perspective, whereas specific legal advice will always be tailored to your best interests and hence is likely to differ from that of the opposing party.
Clearly, there are several benefits for both parties, but it also helps the mediator aid you in reaching an agreement. Instead of sending you away without a resolution, your mediator can meet with you again and assist you in reaching a resolution based on the independent barrister’s findings. This time, though, you have a reasonable middle ground agreement on which to build your conversations.
We have provided these barrister evaluations for almost four years, and the response has been overwhelmingly good. Yes, occasionally the client disagrees with the report, but it is difficult to fight against it when the attorney explains the applicable law and logic. Focusing on how family law pertains to your situation is unquestionably beneficial. And that alone can assist to break the impasse.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A BARRISTER REVIEW?
The mediator would have worked with you both to clarify the situation’s history. They will then compile a list of all unresolved issues. You may want the barrister to address specific questions, such as:
- Would the court grant me espousal maintenance?
- How should the equity in the property be shared between us?
- Should my recent inheritance be included in the distribution of assets?”
Would a court order the sale of the house?”
Your attorney will have access to your complete financial disclosure. They may also request information on appropriate houses in the area where you intend to buy. They will then be able to compose their report.
You also have the chance to express what you would like to occur and to provide any other facts you believe the attorney should know, such as your earning potential or any health concerns.
In order to ensure their impartiality, you will be unable to communicate with the barrister or edit the report once it has been approved and filed (unless there is a substantial change to the report).
The barrister’s report will provide a comprehensive explanation and justification of their responses to each of your queries and the problems that must be handled. It describes the aspect of family law it pertains to and why they feel a court would provide a decision on each subject.
It is a credit to the quality of the evaluations that just one of the instances for which we have provided barrister reviews has proceeded to court, and that case involved a seriously disabled kid. Therefore, we know that they assist customers in avoiding the stress, expenses, and duration of litigation.
If you disagree with the barrister’s report and feel a court will rule differently in your favour, you can always make an application to go to court.
GO TO COURT
In certain instances, court is the only alternative to mediation, especially when one side is being exceptionally unreasonable. In such situations, the mediator may sign Form A for financial matters or Form C100 for child custody agreements. This will demonstrate that mediation has begun but failed.
It is essential to keep in mind that, as all mediation is confidential and without prejudice, nothing mentioned during mediation will be utilized in court. Mediation can assist in narrowing the scope of the issues to be resolved, so allowing the court process to concentrate on those topics on which no agreement can be reached.
THINKING OF ARBITRATION
Arbitration is the process through which a senior lawyer or judge makes a binding judgement on your case. Both parties must consent to arbitration. Popular in the United States, it is gaining popularity in the United Kingdom and may be used for financial and parental problems.
It is a faster and far less expensive technique of obtaining a legally enforceable order regarding your issue. We propose at least exploring the possibility of arbitration with the disputing party, since it will leave more money in the family pot. Due to the present court backlog, which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 epidemic, arbitration will also be a significantly faster way to get a legally binding verdict.
Sometimes, doing nothing is an option. If you cannot agree on a new parenting plan, a modification to an existing maintenance order, or how to divide your assets, you can just retain the status quo. While doing nothing is not always an option, particularly during a divorce, allowing some time for issues to settle down can aid in reaching a settlement in the future. You can return to mediation at any time, and in the majority of instances, you can start up where you left off.
Progressive mediation is the method of mediation utilized by Mediate UK. This focuses on assisting customers in moving forward, obtaining an agreement, and providing you with choices for moving forward. Together with our barrister reviews, this means that 90 percent of our customers who come to us for collaborative mediation achieve an agreement.