Agreement to mediate
The parties have decided to use mediation to resolve issues between themselves and make their own plans for the future. Any proposals they reach will be written in a Memorandum of Understanding.
By signing this agreement, the parties express their sincere intention to attempt to:
Be fair to each other throughout mediation
Leave fault and blame out of the negotiations
Be co-operative in resolving disagreements
Consider their own individual needs, the needs of each other and each child,
and the needs of the family as a whole
Consider their own individual needs, the needs of each other and each child for the least possible
emotional and financial upheaval for all concerned.
It is understood that mediation is a voluntary process and can be stopped at any time by either of the parties or the mediator.
The undersigned agree that all communications in mediation sessions are confidential (except the disclosure of financial information) and that in the absence of specific agreement otherwise they will:
Not be referred to in evidence in any court proceedings about the same issues
Not tape record the MIAM or mediation meetings
Refrain from discussing the details of the mediation with other persons not present in the mediation
(save for their lawyers)
Refrain from posting the details of the mediation via any electronic means or social media
However, this promise of confidentiality does not prevent the mediator disclosing information where there is significant risk to the life, health or safety of a child, the parties or anyone else.
The parties are also aware that
Under the Proceeds of Crime act 2002, where the mediator has reason to believe that either of the parties has benefited, or may benefit, from the proceeds of any crime, there may be a duty to make a report to the Serious Organised Crime Agency without informing the parties that this is being done and that mediation may be discontinued without further notice
For quality control and training purposes, the file may be used in audit procedures, provided that the parties are neither identified nor identifiable.
The parties will not call the mediator as a witness, nor require him/her to produce in evidence any records or notes relating to the mediation, in any litigation or other formal or informal legal process arising from or in connection with the issues being considered in this mediation, nor will the mediator act or agree to act as a witness, expert or consultant in any such processes. If any party does make such an application, that party will fully indemnify the mediator in respect of any costs, including legal costs, incurred in resisting or responding to such an application, including reimbursement at the mediator’s standard hourly rate for the mediator’s time spent in resisting and/or responding to such an application.
For the avoidance of doubt, the mediator will be entitled to charge his/her standard hourly rate for any preparation work done in connection with such an application (referred to as "the mediator's costs, fees and expenses").
In the event the court orders the mediator to give evidence and/or disclose his/her files then:
The party who has made the relevant application to the court will fully indemnify the mediator in respect of the mediator's costs, fees and expenses
If the court has made an order requiring the mediator to attend/give evidence/disclose documents then the parties will be jointly and severally liable for the mediator's costs, fees and expenses.
Where a party privately discloses to the mediator any information in confidence or any legally privileged material before, during or after the mediation, the mediator will not disclose that information to any party without the consent of the party disclosing it, unless
There is significant risk to the life, health or safety of children, the mediator or anyone else or
He/she is ordered to do so by the court.
Finance and Property Mediation only. During the course of mediation, the parties agree that:
They will make a full, frank and true disclosure of finances and provide all supporting documentation.
They will not transfer, charge, conceal or otherwise dispose of any assets except for the purpose of providing for living necessities and expenses in the ordinary course of business.
They will not make any further charges under any charge account for which both of them are legally responsible, unless mutually agreed upon.
Financial disclosures are made on the basis that they are confidential to Family Mediation Matters but may be disclosed to either party or their solicitors and may be used as evidence in court.
To protect the impartiality of the mediator:
The parties will only communicate with the mediator about issues in mediation, during sessions, unless it is agreed otherwise.
All emails should include both parties – once joint or shuttle mediation commences, any reply from the mediator, to an email sent by one party just to the mediator, will automatically include the second party.
No telephone or text communication is allowed between the mediator and either party.
If one of the parties is unable to keep a scheduled appointment, he/she will notify the other party
and Family Mediation Matters at least 24 hours in advance.
If less than 24 hours’ notice is given, they agree to pay the full cost of one hour of mediation.
The parties acknowledge that at no time will they receive financial, legal or other advice from the mediators.
They acknowledge that they have been informed of the advantages of having separate solicitors
to whom they will refer before, during and at the end of the mediation as appropriate.
Changes to documentation:
Factual errors should be notified to the mediator who will amend them
Changes to the agreement reached in mediation, to which both parties agree, should be sent back to the mediator - and confirmed by both parties - for the documents to be changed
Where parties cannot agree on changes, they must return to mediation.
If difficulties should arise in consultation with the solicitors, the parties will notify the mediator of the need for further discussions.
No documents, notes or legal forms can be released until all monies due to Family Mediation Matters have been settled. If an invoice remains unpaid, interest and an administration charge of £50 will be added to the invoice.
Initial meetings are held on a fixed fee basis and usually last up to one hour.
Joint meetings are charged per person per hour and usually last 90 minutes but can run to two hours.
Shuttle mediation is charged per person per hour and is scheduled to last two hours.