Getting Started With Elder & Adult Mediation

First Steps

First, consider who has as interest in the matter – for example, children, grandchildren and siblings. (We refer to those with an interest as stakeholders.)

Then, speak to each of them to gauge their potential interest in using elder mediation to help. Ask each of them for permission to pass on their phone and email details to us.

We will get in contact with them to establish their initial willingness to engage us. You can tell them that they may contact us directly first, if they want to.

Finally, once you have done that, get in touch with us yourself and we’ll disuss the matter with you, in confidence, to see how we can help.

Consider who has as interest in the matter – for example, the elder family member themselves, children, grandchildren and siblings.  (We refer to those with an interest as stakeholders).

If the elder person has capacity, before you do anything else, speak to them about elder mediation. Establish if they support the idea that the problem at hand might helpfully be adressed through mediation with the other stakeholders.

Then, speak to each of the other stakeholders to gauge their potential interest in using mediation to help.

Ask each of them for permission to pass on their phone and email details to us. We will then get in contact with them to establish their initial willingness to engage us. You can tell them that they may contact us directly first, if they want to.

Finally, once you have done that, get in touch with us yourself and we’ll disuss the matter with you, in confidence, to see how we can help.

Consider with your client who, other than your client, has an interest in the matter. For instance, the elder, children, grandchildren and siblings or other relatives. (We call these people stakeholders.)

Discuss with your client whether you or they would be the best person to speak to the other stakeholder to gauge their interest in elder mediation.

Then, you or your client should speak to each of the other stakeholders to gauge their potential interest in using mediation to help.

Ask each of them for permission to pass on their phone and email details to us. We will then get in contact with them to establish their initial willingness to engage us. You can tell them that they may contact us directly first, if they want to.

Finally, once those steps have been taken, you or your client should get in touch with us and we’ll discuss how we can help.

How and Where Meetings Take Place

If all elder mediation stakeholders live within convenient travelling distance of Ipswich, mediation can take place at our consulting rooms at The Hub, Hubbard way, 2 Civic Drive, Ipswich, IP4 2BY.

Providing the elder person’s accommodation has an appropriate space, mediation could take place there if this is more convenient for them.

Should the stakeholders not live within convenient travelling distance of Ipswich, we would assess the options. One of these would be for the meetings to take place at a location central to all the stakeholders.

Where the stakeholders don’t live within convenient travelling distance of each other – perhaps some being abroad – elder mediation could take place over computer video.

The duration and number of joint elder mediation sessions will mainly be determined by six factors.

First, the nature of the problem or dispute. The more complex the issues, and the more polarised the positions of the stakeholders, the more likely it is that mediation will take longer.

Second, how far apart the stakeholders live. The nearer they live, the more convenient it should be for everyone to meet at a convenient location. If they all live a long way apart, then online elder mediation over computer video might be a cost-effective option.

Third, whether the problem can be addressed in a single half-day or day long joint session, or if it will need a series of shorter meetings held over the course of a few weeks or months.

Fourth, the physical health of the stakeholders. As we age, we become less able to concentrate for long periods of time. Elder mediation requires all those involved to be alert enough to make decisions. The longer a session needs to be, the more we build in short breaks to accommodate this.  The shorter the sessions are, longer breaks of a week or more are typically arranged between sessions to give time for reflection.

Fifth, the numbers of stakeholders and others. Quite simply, the more participants there are in any mediation, the more difficult it is to find meeting times and dates that are convenient for all.

Sixth, the willingness of the stakeholders to achieve an outcome that is acceptable to all.

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Why you need a MIAM.

If you want to make a family court application, chances are you'll need a MIAM certificate to show that you've met with a mediator. MIAM is short for Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. MIAMs can only be conducted by specially accredited family mediators.

Maybe you want a MIAM but can't find a local mediator who can meet with you soon enough. Or you can't afford to take time off from work to visit a mediator. Well, you can meet with us over Skype video. All you'll need is a computer, tablet or smartphone with a webcam, a reliable Internet connection and somewhere private to take our video call.

We were the first mediators to offer an online MIAM service in 2012. It's understandable that we've gained a certain amount of expertise in understanding how to set up online consultations, as well as experience in delivering them.

How to get started

You are welcome to call us for a confidential chat. Or to speed things up, you can fill in our confidential online form. Your online form will provide important information about you and your problem or dispute. Once we have it, we'll get in touch with you to arrange your online appointment. We'll send you instructions explaining how to prepare.

What happens at a MIAM?

At your appointment time, you'll need to be in front of your computer or mobile device. One of our mediators (who will also be a non-practising solicitor) will video call you. We'll provide legal information and guidance about court and your other potential options. We'll help you understand how these work, how long they take and how much they cost. If you decide you don't want to mediate, we'll send you a MIAM certificate to enable you to go to court.

How much does it cost?

Each private confidential consultation costs £120. There's no VAT and no hidden extras. So it includes any initial confidential phone chat you might have with one of our accredited mediators, your online appointment with an accredited mediator and any follow up letters, emails and phone calls with you (and the other person). And of course it includes your MIAM court certificate should you want one. 

What happens next?

If you decide you would like to try mediation, we'll offer to get in touch with the other person, inviting them to a similar meeting. Mediation can only start if both of you are willing to mediate. If you decide you don't want to mediate, we'll send you a MIAM certificate immediately by email to enable you to make a court application.