The Steps to Family Mediation


2 min read

Family Mediation is something most people never come across, until they need it. Therefore, the process and vocabulary can be confusing. To help you, this page sets out the process your mediation case is likely to follow. 

Step 1: Booking your meeting

Mediation is a personal process and for most, a new experience. Therefore,  we take all bookings over the phone, simply call 01603 620588. 

When you call, you will have a chance to talk through the process and ask any questions. We will take your details and book your assessment meeting. It is helpful ,but not essential, to take your ex- partners details at this stage. We take the payment for your assessment meeting at this stage. 

Step 2: Your Assessment Meeting; Often called a MIAM.

This is a private, confidential meeting between you and your mediator. During this meeting you will explore how mediation works, talk about your situation in detail and what you would like from the process. This assessment meeting takes around 45 minutes. 

By the end of the meeting, if you and your mediator BOTH feel that mediation could help you resolve your issues, than we agree the next stage of the process. 

If you believe you may be eligible for legal aid, we will also undertake the assessment for that during this meeting.  

If it is viewed, by either you or your mediator, that mediation will not work in your situation, we stop the process and will issue the relevant court papers to enable you to pursue matters through the court. 

Step 3: Your Ex-partner is Invited to Their Assessment Meeting.

Norfolk Family Mediation Service will invite your ex-partner to their private and confidential assessment meeting. This meeting is run in exactly the same way as your assessment meeting was. 

The invitation is issued via two letters, we may, however, also contact you through email and/or phone. If you or your ex-partner fail to attend the assessment meeting, or to make contact with us, we will close the file and the relevant paperwork will be issued to the initial attendee (yourself or your partner).

If you believe you may be eligible for legal aid we undertake the assessment during this meeting.  

At the end of the meeting if you and the mediator BOTH feel that mediation could help you resolve your issues than we will agree the next stage of the process. 

If it is viewed by either you or the mediator, that mediation will not work in your situation, we stop the process and issue the relevant court papers to enable the parties to pursue matters through the court. 

Step 4: Mediation Starts

Following the assessments, Norfolk Family Mediation Service will contact both parties to organise  the mediation sessions. 

As a rule, mediation sessions take approximately one and a half hours. Mediation can be concluded in one session, but for other situations it may require multiple sessions. If you do need multiple sessions, the mediator will explain what will happen between sessions. In most situations, a set of notes will be issued to both parties following each session. 

The mediation sessions will generally only have both parties and the mediator in attendance. There are occasions where there may be an observer (for example, a lawyer or a person for our own training purposes) also attending, this would always be explained to you in advance of the session.  

Step 5: Issuing of Final Documents

Depending on the outcome of the mediation process, the service will issue the relevant documents generated through the mediation process. The mediator will explain what these are and how you can use them. 


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