Mediation described step by step. Part 9: Negotiating a settlement

Mediation described step by step. Part 9: Negotiating a settlement Family mediation is here to stay. But how does it work? What actually happens? How can you make sure the settlements reached are fair, and what do couples who mediate have to do? The purpose of this 12-part series is to attempt to answer those questions specifically – at least as it applies for those who choose New Landscape Mediation to help them create their solutions. Whether we are working with clients from our main offices near Stansted airport in Essex, our offices in central London, or in Cambridge, this series of blogs will better help you to understand how we go about saving our clients up to £20,000 each over a more traditional, solicitor led settlement solution.

Here in part 9 of this series, I will describe the process of negotiating a settlement.

At your MIAM, you will both have described to your mediator a general sense of what you feel is fair. As you can imagine, it is not unusual for mediators to hear two very different versions of “fairness”, and why you think your own thoughts on settlement are reasonable. Beyond the initial thoughts of fairness however are other, important things to consider. Questions like:

  • What do you both need in order to go on with your lives?
  • What do your children need and want?
  • What would a court ultimately feel is a fair decision? (remember, at the end of the day a judge has to ratify your solution by way of a consent order)
  • How much will a legal battle over a £5,000 asset cost you?

These questions and many other overlay the initial thinking of you both. Your mediator will first listen to both of your initial ideas for settlement and start from there. There is no question however, that mediation is a process that will ultimately leave you both having to make some compromise. A £20,000 fight over a £5,000 asset isn’t something that rational people engage in. We will work with you to find a solution in which it is most likely that neither of you will get exactly what you want. But most importantly, neither of you will lose everything either. Even more importantly, you will both be able to walk out of a mediation process with your dignity intact, and your head held high. You mediator will work hard to keep the finger pointing and blaming at a minimum and find a solution for you as quickly, inexpensively, and with as little associated trauma as possible.

The next blog in this series will discuss children’s arrangement plans and how these can be organised. If you would like more information about any aspect of this series, please contact our offices on 01279 211 657 or send us an email for a fully confidential discussion of your needs.

Johnathan Pease
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