The home of professional mediators SUTTON, CROYDON & WIMBLEDON FAMILY MEDIATION AGREEMENT TO MEDIATE The following sets out the basis for the mediations we undertake as members of the Family Mediators Association (FMA) which is a membership organisation of the Family Mediation Council (FMC). It specifically incorporates the Code of Practice of the FMC. Please read the agreement carefully, note any questions you may have and bring it to your first mediation session. At this meeting you will be asked to sign to confirm your understanding and commitment to the process and to the terms of this agreement. Mediation is Voluntary 1. Mediation is voluntary. You are choosing to take part because you want to resolve issues that are currently in dispute. Although you may have been told that our initial assessment with you is required by the court, it is your choice as to whether you mediate or not. 2. You have the right to end the mediation at any time, although before doing so we hope you would be willing to explain your concerns in case they can be addressed and resolved. 3. Mediators also retain the right to end mediation if we consider that it would be appropriate to do so. 4. We will be concerned to ensure that each of you comes into the mediation process able to negotiate without risk of threat or harm. We ask you to tell us at any time if you have concerns about safety, intimidation or the freedom to speak. Mediators are Impartial 5. As mediators, we are impartial and we seek to help all participants equally. We do not make judgements or express opinions about who may be right or wrong, and we do not take sides. 6. We cannot act as mediators if we have prior knowledge of the situation through any previous involvement as lawyer, counsellor or in any other professional role. Although we may have other qualifications, in this context we act only as mediators. 7. Mediators may provide legal, financial and other information and guidance to help you understand your responsibilities and the options available to you. We do not provide legal advice and we do not provide advice of any kind about your “best interests.” Clients make the Decisions 8. It follows that the choices and decisions remain yours at every stage. Whilst the mediators remain in control of the process and seek to help you to explore proposals and arrangements in a way that meets the needs of all concerned; you are responsible for any decisions made. © Family Mediators Association – Agreement to Mediate 2022 Page 1 Children, Young People and Mediation 9. Where there are children of the relationship, mediators have an obligation to assist parents to focus on their parental responsibility to develop arrangements that are most likely to support those children's needs, interests, relationships and well-being, now and in the future. 10. The mediator has an obligation to encourage consideration of children’s wishes and feelings, and to offer the opportunity to all young people aged 10 or above to have their voices heard directly in Child-Inclusive Mediation, if they so wish. Mediation is Confidential 11. Mediation is confidential, which means that you must not share any of these discussions with anyone else. It is especially important not to share anything on any form of social media or with any children or young people, unless this has been expressly agreed. Mediators also have a professional duty of confidentiality subject to the exceptions below. 12. It follows that any unauthorised recording of mediation on phones or other devices is not acceptable and is likely to lead to the termination of the process. In certain circumstances some recording (for example, photographs of the flip-chart) may be acceptable, but only if discussed and agreed in advance. By signing this document, you undertake not to record any mediation meetings or any communications which are covered by the confidentiality of the mediation process. 13. Discussions in mediation about proposals and possible terms of settlement are 'without prejudice', which means they cannot be disclosed to the court, except as explained below at para 16. 14. You each agree not to call the mediator/s to give evidence in court. 15. At your request, either during mediation or at the end, we can prepare an interim or final confidential summary of arrangements for your children and/or your proposals for settlement of financial and property matters. Mediation summaries are prepared on a ‘without prejudice’ basis. 16. Thi

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