What to expect

Mediation sessions are 90 minutes long

The idea of being in the same room as your ex can be difficult to imagine. It is natural to be hesitant and anxious about the process and it may seem simpler to let issues be decided by the courts, but as many people know, that outcome is not predictable or guaranteed. We at Forum Mediation are well aware of how hard it can be to simply be in the same room together and are used to dealing with a range of difficult emotional situations.  We can organise regular breaks during a session, perhaps finish them early,  and can make sure you are never left alone together. When necessary, different arrival and departure times can be arranged to avoid meeting each other outside mediation.  It is your meeting so we want to ensure it is as beneficial as possible.  

Safeguarding checks will always be carried out prior to starting mediation and continue throughout. Mediators will be aware of any power imbalances, intimidation and abuse. Mediation will be terminated if it starts to become abusive. Our mediators are here to help and listen.  They are experienced and never take sides.

As professional mediators we help both parties to find ways to make their own agreements. The mediator provides Mediation Session Summaries which record any agreements and is sent to both of you separately after a session so you can refer to them.

Depending on the complexity the average number of sessions needed are:

Child Arrangements - 1 to 3 sessions
Property & Finance - 3 to 4 sessions
All Issues - 4 to 6 sessions (children, property & finance e.g Divorce or Deed of Separation)

Evidence proves that people willing to give mediation a try find the process results in issues being resolved quicker, in a less expensive/cost effective environment, where the mediator takes seriously what you feel and want to happen. Mediation is about planning what is going to happen not analysing what has happened in the past.  The mediator will make sure any agreements made are right for both of you and that neither person has been coerced.  These agreements can be later drawn up into a consent order if you wish to make them legally binding.

In some cases the mediator does not have both parties in the same room.  This is known as “shuttle mediation” and can sometimes be arranged in certain circumstances.

Mediation is a serious choice as it is a place to get things sorted as quickly as practical

  • a place to make your own decisions about what’s going to happen
  • a place where no one imposes decisions upon you
  • a place which provides a cost-effective service to ensure conflicts are not prolonged
  • a place where no-one profits from your problems.

Family mediation continues to be voluntary. Click mediation flowchart to see choices. 

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