Stages of Mediation

Step 1 -Mediation information and assessment meeting

This is an opportunity for you to find out more about mediation and the mediator can give you information regarding other services that might be of help to you.  Our trained experts will assess whether your case is suitable to mediate.  If it is deemed unsuitable then your mediator can sign the relevant court form, which you will need if you wish to make an application to court.

If you wish to be assessed for Legal Aid you will need to bring specific information/evidence to the appointment details can be found below.

If you are assessed as eligible for Legal Aid this appointment will be free.  However if you are unable to provide the required evidence or are assessed as ineligible, then you will need to pay £80.00 including VAT for your MIAM, and this is payable when booking your appointment.

Step 2 – Mediation Sessions

If mediation is suitable an appointment will be booked for you both to attend.  Each session lasts for an hour and a half and depending on the complexity of your case you may need between 2 to 5 sessions.  You will be required to pay for your sessions 5 working days prior to each appointment.

Before your first appointment you will also need to pay in advance the administration and production of document charge. Please note that this covers the production of a set of draft documents and a final version only.

Clients accessing our fast track service will not pay an additional administration/document charge.

Step 3 – Mediation Documents

When agreement has been reached we will write up a set of documents, which will summarise the decisions you have taken.  If you have only been discussing items relating to your children then you will receive a Statement of Outcome for all other issues you will normally receive a Memorandum of Understanding and Open Financial Statement.

These documents can be taken to your solicitor who can use them to prepare legally binding agreements.

What to bring to your assessment meeting

If you wish to be assessed for Legal Aid you must provide document evidence.  If you do not bring the necessary documents to your assessment (Step 1) you will be charged for the appointment at the meeting and mediation will proceed on a fee paying basis.

If you are assessed as eligible for Legal Aid the whole mediation process will be free.

Everyone MUST bring:

  • Bank statement covering the last 4 weeks, up to the date of your appointment and previous calendar month
  • Value of assets, e.g. property, savings, shares and any other investments
  • National insurance number
  • If you are living with a new partner, evidence of their assets and income/benefits

If you wish to be assessed for Legal aid then you must provide the following.

Employed

  • Monthly payslip (Must cover previous month) or Weekly payslips (Payments during last 5 weeks)
  • Bank statements for the same period

Self Employed

  • The latest available accounts
  • The latest available tax return
  • Bank statement showing your drawings for the previous calendar month

AND Receipt book or other record of your earnings

If you are in receipt of the following welfare benefits

  • Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Guaranteed State Pension Credit

Please bring proof of the above benefit for example a letter from the DWP dated within the last 6 months.

(Please note that the JSA attendance book is NOT sufficient proof of benefit).

 AND Bank statements for the previous calendar month

If this evidence is not produced then you will not be eligible for Legal aid and payment will be required.

 

Children in Mediation

Please do not bring children with you to your appointment as our offices and the meeting rooms are not suitable for them to attend.

Accessibility & Interpreters

If you have any specific requirements, regarding accessibility or a need for interpreters and signers, we will make arrangements to accommodate you. This leaflet is available in large print.

Confidentiality and Data Protection

Whatever you say during mediation is confidential and we keep any information securely and in accordance with the 1998 Data Protection Act.  Your solicitor and the courts will, however, need to see your financial information to make any agreement legally binding.

The only exceptions to the above are:

  • if there are safety concerns for any individual, in particular for children
  • there is suspicion of illegal activity from your financial details e.g. proceeds of crime

We have to store all files for 6 years and these files may be audited by the Legal Aid Agency.  We will ask your consent for your information to be used during an audit.  A full copy of our data protection policy is available on request.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Please give at least 3 working days notice if you cannot make your appointment. Cancelled appointments which do not provide the required notice or a client has cancelled on more than one occasion, are charged at £80.00. This is payable before the booking of further appointments.

Please note that £10 booking fee for MIAM is non refundable.

If a client does not attend mediation without sufficient notice refer to above cancellation policy

If mediation breaks down before the production of documentation then the client may apply for a refund of 25% of the payable Document and administration fee. This fee covers all administration and the production of documents on a case and is not isolated to prepared Statement of outcome and or Memorandums.

Feedback and complaints

we are interested to hear your views on our service.  Please send comments to the Service Manager.  A copy of the complaints policy is also available upon request.

 

Fees and Payment Terms

Mediation Session Fees are payable in advance of booked appointments. They are the individual responsibility of each party.

Payment can be made by contacting the office 01245 492200

If payment is not recieved within the allocated time then mediation is subject to cancellation.

MIAM fees are taken at the time of booking and are then subject to a £10 discount. Should you wish to be assessed for Legal Aid then payment can be made on the day but a non refundable £10 booking fee is taken to secure the appointment. If you are found to be eligible for Legal Aid then this will be refunded.

Administration and Document Charges. This payment is taken along with the first mediation session fee and covers administration and the production of documents should agreement be reached. Please note that this only applies to a set of draft documents and a set of finalised documents. Any requests for amendments to these documents must be made in writing, be agreed by both parties and be limited to a single request. A further mediation session may be required if additional/fundamental changes are requested and this will attract a further fee.

Online Mediation and MIAM Terms and Conditions

The following terms are in addition to the terms of Essex Mediation’s Agreement to Mediate.

Mediators
1. As mediators, we agree that we will not audio or video record any mediation session.
2. We may terminate the meeting or Mediation if there is inadequate quality of connection or a breach of this agreement.
3. We may suspend the meeting or mediation if there is a remote interruption and will restart the online session once satisfied that any interruption has been resolved and that it remains appropriate to continue, following such interruption.

Clients
1. As a client, you agree that you will not audio or video record any meeting, MIAM or mediation session and nor will anyone on your behalf.
2. Only the people who have signed this agreement may be present in the same room as clients during an on-line video connection. You will confirm that you are not able to be overheard from your location.
3. You agree to do all you can to ensure that you are not interrupted during the on-line connection by anyone else such as children, relatives, pets, deliveries.
4. You agree to turn off or put to silent any phones, tablets or computers and disable any alert announcements or notifications of texts, emails or social media activity, and close / minimise other open applications on your computer.
5. You agree to there being no live or deferred video or audio relay of the online meeting to third participants.
6. You assign all intellectual property rights in the on-line meeting to Essex Mediation.
7. If you inadvertently or otherwise create any video or audio recording, you undertake to destroy any such recording as soon as you become aware of its existence.
8. Online video mediation meetings are without prejudice with the objective of seeking a negotiated settlement.

GET IN TOUCH

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Refer to us

Please complete and submit our referral form on behalf of your client. We will acknowledge receipt within 1 working day and then contact you to arrange a suitable appointment time. Alternatively contact us by phone or fax.

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Call 01245 492200 to speak with a member of our team