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We are committed to keeping issues that arise between couples on a relationship breakdown out of court. One of the ways in which we achieve this is through hybrid mediation. Hybrid mediation brings together the best of both the family and the civil mediation models.
Hybrid mediation involves one or many more of the following:-
1. The mediator can bring other family professionals and experts into the process to help deal with complex and difficult situations such as accountants, valuers, independent financial advisers, psychiatrists, independent social workers.
2. The mediator can bring in the parties’ lawyers to help advise and support in complex and difficult cases.
3. Engaging in shuttle mediation (in person or virtually) where the mediator spends time with each party on their own enabling the opportunity of exploring issues and settlement proposals in greater detail.
4. Your lawyer can support you with legal advice throughout the meeting and process.
5. The mediator can keep confidences which can help focus discussions and proposals.
1. Hybrid mediation can be particularly effective when there are certain safeguarding issues and where one person does not feel comfortable being in the same room or same Zoom screen as the other.
2. It enables each person to explore options with the mediator in great detail without feeling they have over-committed. It is possible for you to confidentially explore options with the mediator without commitment or raising expectations.
3. It enables other professionals to use their skills, knowledge and solutions which makes the whole process better informed and more likely to achieve workable, fair settlements.
4. Hybrid mediation can be undertaken before any court proceedings are considered, but also if a couple find themselves already in the court process but want to achieve a settlement outside, away from the stress, delays and costs of litigation.
5. The process is cost effective as the solicitors are not involved in correspondence or litigation and the matter can be resolved in one day.
6. It can be helpful for complex cases where lawyer’s assistance is needed.
7. It can be can be quicker (Hybrid meetings normally take place over one day). Discussions can be converted into a consent order by the lawyers if proposals are agreed, on the same day.
8. Conflict can be reduced as matters are resolved before tensions rise.
9. It enables people to mediate that might not otherwise feel safe or be comfortable mediating directly with their former partner.
10. There is more certainty of outcome as whilst lawyers can advise during the meeting, there is less risk that people may change their mind.
As Hybrid mediators we have undertaken specialist training with Resolution to enable us to utilize both family and civil mediation techniques and procedures. The training enables us to be more flexible and innovative with our clients.
Hybrid mediation can deal with issues between a separating couple relating to finance, children or, indeed, both. In relation to finances, issues such as the level of maintenance, how assets are distributed on separation, longer term support for the children and how pension assets are treated can all be dealt with within a hybrid mediation setting and often with the benefit of other expert input.
In relation to children issues, hybrid mediation can help couples decide where the children will live and how much time they will spend with each of the parents, but also issues such as internal and international relocation or schooling.
Both of the separating couples are seen separately by us to assess whether or not hybrid mediation and, indeed, mediation is appropriate and we will look very carefully at issues such as safeguarding. As part of the same assessment meeting, the individual separating couple will consider whether they think hybrid mediation is best for them.
Mediations often involve three to five sessions and such sessions normally last one to two hours each. However, if sessions are properly prepared for and information and documentation is to hand then it can be possible to set aside a whole day for a mediation to take place, with a view to achieving a settlement at the end of that day.
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