Family Mediation is a process whereby you and another person (in this case, usually your ex-partner) meet up in person or over a video/telephone call to discuss issues that need agreeing between you such as plans to separate, child arrangements, property, and financial separation. The professional Family Mediator joins you for this process to help bring clarity, structure, and respect to the discussion.
Success Family Mediation is not only a great alternative to a lengthy court process, but it's also compulsory before you are allowed to apply to court unless you qualify for one of the MIAM exemptions
The process for Family Mediation is relatively simple. One of you normally contacts a registered and qualified Family Mediator (see links below for the Family Mediation Council's directory) and then the Mediator will contact you both to arrange a time for a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).
A MIAM is usually a 30 minute meeting just between you and the Mediator without the other person. This is so that you can understand what the mediation process can and cannot do, and for the Mediator to understand the issues that you want to discuss. The mediator will also let you know the rules for how you both must conduct yourselves during the mediation process.
After you have both completed your MIAM, and the Mediator has agreed that mediation is suitable for you both then the proper Mediation can then begin. This will usually be a meeting that lasts a couple of hours where you both have the opportunity to put forward your positions on the issues that need to be agreed. The Family Mediator will then work to support you in coming to an agreement where possible.
Sometimes it's easy to agree on some of the issues but not all of them. You may need to attend multiple mediation appointments or you may discover that mediation is not working for you both and you need to apply to court for a third party to make the decision for you.
It's important to remember that it is almost always in the best interests of your children for you to make the agreement between you and not have it imposed on your family by a stranger - even if they are an extremely experienced and fair Judge or Magistrates. It's worth you both giving mediation your very best attempts.