Agreement to Mediate
We have decided to use mediation to resolve issues between us and make our own plan for the future.
By signing this agreement, we express our sincere intention to attempt to:
o Be fair to each other throughout mediation
o Leave fault and blame out of the negotiations
o Be co-operative in resolving disagreements
o Consider our individual needs, the needs of each other and each child and the needs of the family as a whole
o Work for the least possible emotional and financial upheaval for all concerned
We understand that all communications, (except the disclosure of financial information, which is made on an open basis) to which those in mediation are party, are made solely for the purpose of attempting to reach a settlement and are made on the basis that the communications are both (a) confidential and (b) without prejudice and cannot be referred to in evidence in any court proceedings about the same issues. They cannot be used in affidavits or statements. The mediator has a professional duty of confidentiality, subject to certain exceptions:
- Where any person (particularly a child) is at risk of serious harm the mediator has a duty to contact the appropriate authorities;
- Where required by order of the Court or where the law imposes an overriding obligation of disclosure (eg under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and/or relevant money laundering Regulations). The mediator may not be able to inform you of any such disclosure and may have to discontinue the mediation without further notice.
Finance and Property mediation only
During the course of mediation we agree that:
- We will make full, frank and true disclosure of finances and provide all supporting documentation.
- We will not transfer, change, conceal or otherwise dispose of any assets except for the purpose of providing for living necessities and expenses in the ordinary course of business.
- We will not make any further charges under any charge account for which both of us are legally responsible, nor will we enter into any new financial commitments such as bank loans or mortgage agreements, unless by mutual consent.
- Financial disclosures are made on the basis that they are confidential to the Service but may be disclosed to our solicitors and may be used in evidence in Court.
General Terms & Conditions
- We will only communicate with the mediator about issues in mediation during sessions, unless we agree otherwise.
- We acknowledge that at no time will we receive financial, legal or other advice from the mediator or the mediation service.
- We acknowledge that we have been told of the advantages of having separate solicitors to whom we will refer before, during and at the end of mediation as appropriate. If difficulties should arise on consultation with the solicitors, we will notify the mediator of the need for further discussions.
- Any proposals we reach may be written in a Memorandum of Understanding or Outcome of Mediation which are not binding agreements. However, we can instruct our solicitors to prepare a legally binding document based on the Memorandum of Understanding or Outcome of Mediation.
- The mediator is a “processor” of personal data for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998. We consent to the mediator processing our personal data for the purposes of mediation. We understand that this includes retention and storage of our personal data for as long as is necessary to complete the case, comply with Legal Aid Agency regulations and all legal requirements.
- Given initial and on-going registration requirements to maintain quality standards for family mediators, we understand that our case may be used for mediator assessment purposes and that the mediator may retain data for research and statistical purposes provided that we are neither identified nor identifiable in any materials used.
- Terms and Conditions for Remote / Online Mediation
Terms for Mediators
- The Mediator will not audio or video record any mediation session, and nor will you. We will check with you that neither you, nor anyone on your behalf, will do so.
- The Mediator may terminate online video mediation if there is inadequate quality of connection or a breach of this agreement may have occurred.
- The Mediator may suspend the mediation if there is any remote interruption and will restart the online session once satisfied that any interruption has been resolved and that it remains appropriate to continue following such interruption.
Terms for Mediation Participants
- Only the people who have signed this agreement to mediate online may be present in the same rooms used by the participants during any online video mediation session. We will confirm that we are not able to be overheard from our location.
- We agree to do all we can to ensure that we are not interrupted during online video mediation by anyone else such as children, relatives, pets, deliveries.
- We agree to turn off or put to silent any phones, tablets or computers, and disable any alerts announcements or notifications of texts, emails, tweets or other social media activity, and close all or any other open application.
- We agree to there being no live or deferred video or audio relay of the online mediation to third participants.
- We agree not to video or audio record any online session.
- We assign all intellectual property rights in the online video mediation sessions to the mediator.
- If we create any video or audio recording of the online mediation, inadvertently or otherwise, we undertake to destroy any such recording as soon as we become aware of its existence.
- Online video family mediation is a without prejudice process to seek a negotiated settlement.
Fees and cancellations
- All invoices must be paid no later than 5 working days prior to the appointment. In practical terms this means 1 week before the appointment. Please refer to the cancellation policy sheet enclosed with all correspondence. The Policy is also shown on Surrey Family & Mediation Services website (sfms.org.uk)
- Should you wish to make a complaint regarding any aspect of the service please consult the above website to obtain details. If your complaint is escalated to our Member Organisation (College of Mediators) please be aware that by signing this agreement you are consenting to your file being released to the College of Mediators / Family Mediation Council for investigative purposes in relation to the complaint. This procedure does not prejudice your rights to seek a civil remedy.
- We have requested our mediation documents be sent by unencrypted emails to the address given below and understand the mediator will send one joint email (Cc or Bcc) to both addresses after each mediation session.