Case Studies

Whether you’re experiencing a conflict with your partner, family or business, Essex Mediation helps parties to resolve their issues in a calm and communicative environment. Our experienced team of mediators take pride in our work and the positive results we achieve are reflected in just some of the success stories and mediation case studies listed below.

Case Study 1 - Paul and Sue

Paul and Sue separated eighteen months ago and things had gone from bad to worse. Sue had stayed in the house with the children and Paul had moved in with his new partner.

Paul had a good relationship with his children 14 and 9 before the separation but since he moved out he has hardly seen them. Sue knows how important it is for them to spend time with their dad but is unhappy about them meeting his new partner. Paul was still paying all the bills on the family home but was finding it increasingly difficult. Sue had recently got a part-time job and was enjoying working again having not worked since the birth of their first child. Sue was worried about approaching a solicitor as she didn’t want to have to sell the home but after speaking to a close friend she realised that practical decisions did need to be made. When Sue went to her solicitor to talk about the separation, she was referred to Essex Mediation. During the first session, it became clear that Paul did not want Sue to have to sell the house, that Sue did not want Paul to continue to pay all the bills and that both of them wanted the children’s needs to come first.

At the second session, they went through their monthly income and outgoings, and agreed a figure for Paul to pay each month as maintenance.

They both then went back to see their solicitors and came to the final session with proposals to finalise things regarding the family home and other matters. They had spent under £1,000 between them and had sorted everything out.

Case Study 2 - Tom & Janet

Tom was referred to mediation after an argument with his mum resulted in him moving out. It was hoped that the relationship with his mum could be improved and that he could move back into the family home, Tom was 16 years old.

The mediation office phoned Tom and booked him in for an initial appointment.

Tom explained in his first meeting that he had been experiencing problems since his Dad left 3 years ago. He still felt very angry and said he drank alcohol on occasions. He said he was always arguing with his mum, especially about alcohol and his lack of help around the house. Tom had very recently taken some GCSE\’s and wanted to go to college to take a qualification in IT but hadn\’t secured a place- he was worried his results wouldn\’t be good enough. The mediator discussed the next step of inviting Tom\’s mum to mediation. Tom was quite happy with this and said he wanted to get on better with her. He also explained that he felt envious of his older sister\’s relationship with his mum and often felt left out.

The mediation office then wrote to Tom\’s mum, Janet. She phoned the office a few days later and an appointment was made for her to come in during her lunch hour.

Janet told the mediator that she was at her wits end with Tom. Home life was a nightmare. There were constant arguments and Tom often came home drunk and abusive at weekends. He refused to help round the house and didn\’t clear up anything, just left everything scattered around. She said when she came home from work feeling tired out she didn\’t want to have to clear up Tom\’s mess while he laid on his bed listening to loud music. Janet confirmed that Tom missed his Dad and agreed that trying mediation would be a good idea. She booked up an appointment that she knew would suit Tom and said she would bring him along.

Tom and Janet came for their mediation session a week later. As an ice breaker Tom and Janet talked about something they were both good at. Janet talked enthusiastically about Pilates which she went to with her daughter. Tom recalled how he used to enjoy playing Play Station games- he said he used to spend hours at his console after school.

We then went on to discuss the situation at home. Janet said she couldn\’t tolerate Tom continuing to behave in the same way. Ground rules were agreed by both to make the home a happier place. After a slightly heated conversation it was agreed that Tom would clear up the kitchen when he had made himself snacks, not play loud music after 10.30 pm, and to do some jobs around the house such as mowing the lawn. Janet and Tom attended one more session after this and at the end of it, Tom asked if he could move back in. Mum agreed.

Case Study 3 - Frank and Carol

Frank and Carol had been to their local Citizens Advice Bureau for help as they had decided to separate. The CAB suggested they call Essex Mediation for a free information meeting. Frank and Carol came together but saw the mediator separately for some of the meeting. They had been married for 26 years and have 3 grown up children. Carol was able to explain to the mediator that she was concerned about Frank\’s drinking and his moodiness. She couldn\’t face the thought of retirement. Carol felt very upset talking about the end of her marriage, but the mediator was sympathetic and understanding. If Carol felt upset in the sessions, they could stop for a break.

Frank and Carol went on to have three mediation sessions. They decided to sell their house and buy two smaller properties. There was just enough money for Carol to have a house with a garden as this was important for her. Frank had a big pension, so this was divided between them so they would both have income for later years. Frank chose to buy a flat and took out a small mortgage over 10 years, which would just take him into retirement but he had the option of working for longer with his company. Carol was to continue working as an Optician\’s receptionist and worked out that she could just about manage in her new house.

After all the decisions were made, Carol said she had found mediation a great way to sort out the future. Frank was relieved it was all over so quickly- within two months. He was also pleased that the tension between them had eased, especially as they had grandchildren. He expected them both to be able to go to Birthday parties and other family celebrations and not spoil it for their children!

Case Study 4 - Emma and Callum

Emma and Callum had been married for 9 years. They have a 5 year old daughter, Jasmine, who has just started school. Emma, Callum and his father run a building business- Emma does the accounts, paperwork, day-to-day administration etc and Callum and his dad do the building work. They have a house in the country with paddocks for Emma’s horse and Jasmine’s pony.

After Jasmine was born, Emma suffered from post natal depression. She feels much better now but wants to end the marriage, now that Jasmine is at school. Emma wants to get a job out of the house as she felt depressed having to stay in every day to run the business. This led to a major disagreement with Callum.

Emma went to see a solicitor who suggested she tried mediation to sort out the finances. The solicitor set to work on the Divorce petition.

Callum came to mediation, initially reluctantly. He hadn’t wanted the marriage to end. He was also worried about the business and how this could all be sorted out.

Once in mediation, Callum and Emma were able to talk calmly about their concerns and look at plans for the future. Even though there were difficult issues to tackle, with the help of the mediator and independent legal advice, decisions were made. Jasmine was able to keep her pony and Emma found a suitable job.

Callum and Emma were delighted with their mediated settlement. ‘It made a really stressful time less worrying’ said Emma Callum said ‘I would recommend anyone trying mediation. It saved a lot of money. I was able to keep my business and we both found somewhere new to live.’

Case Study 5 - Civil and Commercial Mediation Case Study 1

A building company appointed Sid Brown as their new Director. In addition to his role as Director he was also expected to be Chair of the property development subsidiary. He had experience in this field and it was hoped that he would be able to make a strong contribution.

At the first meeting of the subsidiary Board Sid took a number of decisions that involved financial commitments being made by the Group. At the subsequent Board meeting a minority of members disagreed strongly with these commitments and proposed a vote of no confidence. The majority of Board members refused to ratify the financial commitments made by the subsidiary. Sid stormed out and the Chair adjourned the meeting without any further business being done.

The Group Chair contacted Essex Mediation’s Civil and Commercial Mediator to see if a way could be found to resolve the issue quickly and without publicity. The mediator asked the Chair to nominate a Group Board member whose opinion was valued by the other members and who would be prepared to give up time to attend a Mediation session. The Chair nominated Carol Smith. The mediator talked to both parties separately by phone to ensure that both agreed to participate in the mediation.

The session was fixed for the following Saturday to take place in a hotel conference suite well away from familiar territory for both parties. Initially meetings with the mediator took place separately so that the matters of dispute could be identified. It was agreed by both parties that the main issue was a difference in expectations.

The mediator bought the parties together and asked them to look forward to see whether the differences in expectations could be resolved. After a total of 4 hours mediation both parties jointly agreed to a set of proposals: the key features of which were :

1) Carol would be co-opted onto the subsidiary board and act as a mentor to Sid.

2) Carol would give Sid a written assurance that if the whole group board failed to have confidence in him after 6 months he would resign voluntarily

3) Sid & Carol agreed to give a joint presentation to the Group Board on Sid’s plans for the subsidiary