A constructive dialogue about changes for the future
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Mediation is not marriage guidance or counselling. It works on the basis that even when couples are separated they are still capable of negotiating their own settlements and making decisions about their future finances and arrangements for their children in total privacy. They can meet together in the presence of a neutral mediator to discuss parenting issues and finances. Mediation is a constructive way of dealing with the changes that occur following separation. It may not end the anger, or cure the hurt, but it will go a long way to minimise both of these, as couples look together for solutions in new and changing circumstances. The mediator explores with the couple the options available in their case and provides guidance as they set out their views to each other. By making this choice they can ensure that future arrangements are tailor-made to suit the needs of their own family.

A skilled and impartial mediator
Mediation is for couples who have yet to resolve their disputes. Our mediators are skilled at dealing with people in conflict and trained in mediation techniques and we have a high success rate at helping couples resolve their issues. John Kermode is a qualified family mediator.
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He has a background in professional psychology and is accredited to national standards. He will usually work with another mediator (a co-mediator) The mediator will not be making decisions for the couple and has no need to decide whose position is right or wrong. It is the mediator's role to help the couple come up with proposals that are acceptable to them both, so the mediator makes a point of looking at the issues from both sides.

A framework for confidential negotiations
The process of mediation is always confidential and neither the final outcome nor the mediation discussions can be referred to in court. The exceptions to this are that financial information provided in the course of mediation can be referred to in court. Mediators gather information through an extensive financial questionnaire, which follows the format of the financial questionnaire used in court proceedings. Where necessary, up-to-date valuations are obtained of any property, pension, insurance policies and other assets. Where full financial disclosure is withheld by either party, the mediator will refer the couple back to their advocates for advice.

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A written document setting out the understandings reached

The Memorandum of Understanding is the document recording the outcome of successful negotiations in mediation. It is not legally binding. The advocates can however use it to create a Consent Order, which can be sent to the court for approval. The approved Consent Order is then fully binding upon the parties.