At the start of the Mediation Process, all parties read through and sign a document called the Agreement to Mediate. This outlines the Process and Principles of Family Mediation. There are four main principles of Family Mediation.
Mediation is a voluntary process. The parties involved and the Mediator all take part of their own free will and can withdraw from the process at any time. This means that everyone involved can feel confident that they are taking part on their own terms.
Mediation is entirely confidential unless there is evidence of Children being at Risk, Domestic Violence or Criminal Behaviour. Everything which is discussed is shared between the parties but is not valid in a courtroom without the express consent of both parties.
The Mediator is entirely impartial and is acting on behalf of both parties to find an acceptable way forwards for everyone involved in the process. Unlike Solicitors, Family Mediators do not act on behalf of one party.
4. Decisions are in the hands of the Participants
Unlike the Court Procedure, all decisions are in the hands of the participants. Only jointly agreed decisions will be taken forward and the Mediator has no part in the decision making process other than to ensure that both parties understand what it is they are agreeing. Mediators can offer information but do not give advice.