Each mediation is unique. Different mediations will require different time-frames to complete. For many couples going through a separation/divorce, where a substantial amount of issues need to be resolved, the average process can take seven to nine joint sessions to conclude. The average session will last for an hour and a half in length.
Where only one issue such as access or maintenance needs to be resolved on it’s own, the process can take five joint sessions on average to conclude.
Depending on how much work the parties need to complete the process can take from several weeks to several months. The parties dictate the frequency of the sessions required to complete the work in as efficient a manner as is possible.
Parties are encouraged to take breaks between sessions and either party can call a time-out at any point in the process to take a break.
Mediations can be completed in one day or over several days depending on the number of issues that need to be addressed. For Divorce and separation cases many couples will book two days back to back at the start of the mediation process.
The Chart Below Shows How the Process is Structured in Comediation where two mediators are working with the couple;
- Agree Mediation
At the beginning of the process, one or other party contacts FMI to find out about the process. The contacting party will ask the other party to contact FMI to find out about mediation.
- Information Session
Where both parties are in agreement FMI set up an information session for the couple to find out about the process. After the information session, the parties can sign the “Agreement to Mediate” and enter the process.
- Single Sessions
Each party will get a chance on their own and in the absence of the other party to meet with the mediators in private to discuss matters before going into any joint sessions with the other party and the mediators.
- Joint Sessions
The vast majority of mediations are conducted with both parties and the mediators present at the same time. However, on occasion after the commencement of joint sessions either the mediators or the parties can elect for further single sessions depending on the circumstances.
When the process is concluded and the parties have reached an understanding they will have an opportunity to take advice from their advisors before completing the “Memorandum of Understanding” or mediated agreement. This is not a legally binding document but can be made legally binding through the parties legal advisors.