What is the next step after mediation?

By Solent Family Mediation |
August 17, 2021

After Mediation

At the conclusion of the mediation process, your mediator will provide you with a document that details any agreements reached.

You will either receive or

  • A Statement of Outcome that provides a synopsis of your final agreements;
  • An MOU (memorandum of understanding between two parties), which is a document outlining your final agreements in full;
  • Mediator Notes – if the mediation procedure has produced no or limited agreements

The decisions you reach during mediation are not legally enforceable, so you have a variety of options for moving forward:

  • You could implement the agreements made through mediation without additional action;
  • Take limited court action and ask the judge to turn your mediation agreements into a legally binding consent order (if the opposing party agrees to this line of action);
  • If no final agreements are reached during mediation, return to your attorney to see if further conversations with them may resolve the dispute, and/or file a lawsuit to have the matter decided by a judge.

What occurs if an agreement cannot be reached?

If the mediation procedure does not provide the desired result and you are unable to resolve the dispute, your mediator can provide you with a court form to file a lawsuit and have the matter decided by a judge, or you can continue your conversations with a lawyer to try to reach an agreement.

Even if it is only partially effective, it can still help you narrow the points you want the judge to address, so saving you money and time.

Converting your contract into a Consent Order

In order to avoid misunderstandings following a successful conclusion, both parties may agree to petition the court for their mediation agreement to be converted into a Consent Order. This may require initiating limited court procedures; you may desire to do so with the assistance of a lawyer due to the complexity of the process, but you can do so on your own if you prefer.

When you see a lawyer, you should bring any Statement of Outcome, Memorandum of Understanding, or Mediation Notes you obtained from the mediator. These records will assist your attorney in converting the mediation agreements into a Consent Order.

Deciding not to acquire legal approval

Despite the fact that a Consent Order provides all parties with the assurance of a legal binding decision, many individuals prefer not to formalise their agreements about child-related matters into a Consent Order because they believe they can manage the arrangements between themselves and trust one another to adhere to them.

However, the majority of financial arrangements between divorcing couples will need to be formalised in a consent order for them to be legally binding. In the case of pension sharing, for instance, the pension company will not be allowed to implement the agreement between the parties without a consent order signed by all parties involved.

It is essential to note that life circumstances may need periodic revision of your agreements. You can always return to us in the future to modify the terms of your agreement.

Child arrangements agreements

If you achieve an agreement in mediation regarding child arrangements, it is typically not required to apply for a Consent Order through the court, as the court strongly discourages unwarranted applications concerning things that parents should be expected to resolve between themselves.

According to the “No Order Principle” outlined in the Children Act of 1989, a court should not issue an order in a dispute involving a child unless it determines that issuing an order would be better for the child than issuing no order at all. According to research, arrangements agreed between parents without court involvement are often less distressing and stressful for their children.

How Mediation Works

It is a way of sorting any distinctions between you and your ex-partner, with the help of a third person who will not take sides. The 3rd individual is called a mediator. They can assist you reach an arrangement about issues with money, property or kids.

You can attempt it prior to going to a lawyer. They’ll most likely talk to you about whether using mediation initially might assist if you go to a solicitor first.

You don’t need to go to mediation, but if you end up having to go to court to sort out your differences, you usually require to prove you have actually been to a mediation details and evaluation meeting (MIAM). This is an initial meeting to explain what mediation is and how it might help you.

There are some exceptions when you don’t need to go to the MIAM prior to litigating – for instance, if you have actually suffered domestic abuse.

If you require to go to court and your ex-partner does not want to see a conciliator, you ought to call the conciliator and discuss the scenario. You can’t require your ex-partner to go to mediation.

If you want to keep the expenses of down, attempt to agree as much as you can with your ex-partner prior to you start. For instance, you may have already agreed plans about your children, but require aid agreeing how to divide your money.

You might likewise agree a set variety of sessions with your conciliator – this might help you and your ex-partner focus on getting a quicker resolution.

Before you go to mediation

Think about what you want to leave prior to you begin. Mediation is more likely to succeed if you can spend the sessions focusing on things you really disagree on.

You’ll need to fill out a monetary disclosure form when you go to mediation if you’re attempting to reach a contract about money or property. You’ll have to include all your financial information:

  • your income – for example, from work or benefits
  • what you invest in living expenses – such as transportation, utilities and food
  • just how much money you have in savings account
  • debts you owe
  • home you own

Start gathering bills and bank declarations together to take to the first mediation conference. Some mediators will send you a kind like this to fill out before your very first visit.

It’s important that you and your ex-partner are truthful when you speak about your finances. If your ex-partner later on discovers you attempted to hide something from them, any agreement you make may not stand. Your ex-partner could also take you to court for a bigger share of your cash.

What occurs in mediation

In the initial meeting, you and your ex-partner will usually fulfill independently with a trained conciliator. After this, you’ll have sessions where you, your ex-partner and the mediator will sit together to discuss your distinctions.

If you and your ex-partner are unable to sit together, you might request that the mediator move back and forth between the two of you. This type of mediation is often more expensive due to its lengthier duration.

The conciliator can’t give legal recommendations, however they will:

  • listen to both your points of view – they won’t take sides
  • help to develop a calm environment where you can reach an agreement you’re both delighted with
  • recommend useful actions to assist you agree on things

Call Solent Family Mediation today, so our expert mediators can help with all of your issues.