Intake Meetings are held for clients and Mediators to meet one another and assess whether mediation appears suitable for the dispute, the people involved and all the circumstances.
It is intended as a two way process of information exchange and collection for couples who are separating or divorcing to help decide if mediation will help them resolve the practical issues that are associated with their separation. It also allows the Mediator to assess suitability of the clients and their issues for mediation.
This session is not part of the mediation process, and it falls in to three general areas.
Information: Gathering and Giving
During this stage of the session the following are explained:
1. The purpose of the meeting and the amount of time that it will take.
2. The legal framework, paperwork and the recording of information.
3. The Mediation process and the key principles of mediation which include voluntariness, impartiality and confidentiality.
4. Issues that can be addressed in mediation.
5. The gathering of factual information in due course and checking information held.
6. Giving information about the cost of mediation and touching on financial eligibility for Public Funding (Legal Aid), which may be available elsewhere.
Assessing Suitability (Separate Meeting)
During this stage of the session the following activities take place:
1. Receiving some explanation from each client about the current situation.
2. Clarifying the issues that the client would like to bring to mediation, and exploring the feasibility of these issues.
3. Screening for domestic abuse.
4. Exploring the client’s ability to negotiate.
5. Screening for child protection issues.
6. Identifying any special needs.
7. Exploring other options for resolution and giving information about other local services available, and explaining how they differ from mediation.
Making a Decision
1. Discussing and deciding together whether to proceed further.
2. If Mediation is proceeding, giving information about the next steps.
3. If Mediation is not proceeding, giving information about.