The mediation process involves each party attending an intake appointment with us. The intake appointment allows us to meet you, obtain the background of the dispute from your perspective and gain an understanding about what you hope to achieve. After this, the other party will be invited to participate in the same mediation process. If he/she agrees to participate then he/she will also attend an intake session (where we meet, obtain further background, understanding, perspective and goals). Once both parties have attended an intake session, joint mediation will be scheduled. We offer mediation in the same room (joint mediation) or mediation in separate rooms (shuttle mediation). In terms of the timing of these appointments, clients have the option to schedule all appointments (including both intake sessions and the joint/shuttle mediation) on the same day (which amounts to a full day mediation) or to schedule intake appointments first and then come to a joint/shuttle session on another day. We cater to all clients' wishes in this regard.
Family Law mediation can be conducted with or without lawyers being present. It is always advisable that parties obtain independent legal advice before and/or during the mediation process. It is up to the party and his/her lawyer to decide whether it is important for a lawyer to be present and the ways in which the lawyer may participate. Lawyers who do not attend the mediation are able to participate in mediation by providing clients with advice by phone throughout the process. They are also able to advise clients on agreements made at mediation before the agreement is finalised. At Vanessa Simon Mediation, we have the facilities for both parties to attend mediation with their lawyers should they wish to do so.