Successful mediation can actually mean several things. At first glance a successful mediation is one where a fully determined financial settlement is reached, a highly detailed co-parenting plan is reached, or both. There is no doubt that these versions of successful mediation are seen by us all the time. Having said that, there is often more to a successful mediation than meets the first glance version of an outcome.
Just as often a successful mediation is one where clients who have absolutely no hope in hell of agreeing a financial settlement use the financial disclosure gathering aspect of mediation to save themselves several months of solicitor letter writing a £3,000 – £5,000 each. To explain, before any couple can negotiate a financial settlement that is later presented to a judge for ratification into a legally binding consent order, they must first demonstrate clearly what their financial picture is. This process is known as disclosure. In a more traditional legal solution this disclosure is gathered using a government document called a Form E. If you’ve ever seen one of these, you’ll know that it is a fairly complicated and rather bulky thing that is long overdue for an update. That aside, the legal process of gathering Form E information is a slow one – taking as long as six months to complete depending upon the couple.
At New Landscape Mediation, we’ve worked hard to streamline this process and bring it into the modern world. Our clients are provided with a highly detailed set of instructions on how to gather and present the same information to us as in the Form E (we use and abridged version of our own devising). In the vast majority of cases, once this material is gathered, the entire process is completed in a single, two-hour meeting! There will be no prizes given for guessing how much money this process saves our clients. Even if they then go back to their solicitors and ask a judge to make a decision, they’ve still sped the whole process up by several months.
Another aspect of successful mediation (even if all matters are not concluded) is where we narrow down the topics of dispute that don’t need to be considered by a judge. Often, couples have a number of different things they’re stuck on, and can’t find a resolution to on their own (let’s say 10 in this example). In mediation, we are usually able to resolve 8 or 9 of these. This means, that if they do end up on court or arbitration over the last item, they’ll save a considerable amount of time and money because less is being asked of the court. Not only this, but they’ll have retained control over much more of their own futures instead of leaving it to a judge to decide.
If you would like more information, please call us on 01279 211 657 for a fully confidential discussion of your needs.