Read more about the four principles of mediation:
Mediation is voluntary
Both of you have to want to mediate, and either of you can stop the mediation process at any time. More and more the courts expect families to attempt mediation before litigation begins, but mediation isn’t always suitable, and no-one can be required to mediate.
Mediators are impartial
The mediator does not take sides, and is always there for both of you. Mediators don’t give advice, although they do give information about legal principles and guidance explaining what things you should be thinking about.
Mediation is confidential
The information clients share with the mediator is kept confidential, with some very limited exceptions (similar to the exceptions that apply to lawyers, therapists and counsellors). Proposals put forward during mediation cannot be referred to in court proceedings. If you try to mediate but it doesn’t work, the court will never be told why the mediation wasn’t successful.
In mediation, the clients are in charge
The mediator doesn’t make any decisions; you yourselves work out what proposals you both think you would like to take forward. Your proposals will only become legally binding if you ask your lawyers to create a legally binding agreement.