How to Start
There are two ways in which we set up a new mediation. One option is for us to meet the clients each separately for one-hour intake meetings. These give the clients the opportunity to explain their situation in detail and discuss whether mediation is appropriate. If finances are to be addressed, we give the clients their homework to complete prior to the first mediation appointment. After those two intake meetings, we then fix the first mediation appointment with both clients present.
The other option is to press ahead and book a 2 hour mediation appointment straight away. If the clients wish to address finances in mediation, we will email their financial homework in advance. At the mediation appointment, we will see the clients separately for 20 minutes each at the outset, and the remainder of the 2 hour appointment is spent in mediation with them both together.
Some clients are keen to press ahead straight away and say there is no need for the one-hour intake meetings; their situation is not complicated and they just want to get on with it as quickly and cheaply as possible.
There are other cases which are less straightforward and where there is more anxiety about the process or where there is more conflict and stress. In these situations it is helpful to meet the clients separately first, to ensure we set up the process in the best way possible for their situation.