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What is integrated (lawyer inclusive) mediation and hybrid mediation?

We explain more about integrated mediation (also known as lawyer inclusive mediation) and hybrid mediation.

Mediation provides a flexible and efficient process to help parties to reach a mutually acceptable solution to their family law issues. Click here for more information about mediation generally.

However, family mediators who specialise in handling the most complex and challenging of financial and child arrangement matters often work with the parties’ lawyers and their support teams within sessions in order to achieve swift and effective results.

Mediation provides a confidential forum for the parties to work together with the support of the mediator and their own legal teams, as well as collaborate with other professionals including financial neutrals, life coaches and mentors.

We explain more about integrated mediation (also known as lawyer inclusive mediation) and hybrid mediation below.

What is integrated (lawyer inclusive) mediation?

Integrated mediation (also known as lawyer inclusive mediation) is a process that involves the participation of other family law professionals and experts to give advice and support to the parties during the sessions in what can be complex or difficult cases.

The mediator will often meet with both parties and their lawyers as a group at the start of the process before they split off into their separate rooms. There, they may be joined by their accountants and / or other professionals necessary to help them make up a ‘team’ to facilitate an agreement.

The mediator will go between the two, helping them explore issues, address concerns and develop options before hopefully arriving at a mutually acceptable set of proposals.

What is hybrid mediation?

Hybrid mediation is similar to the process outlined above except it is agreed at the outset that the mediator will only share information with the other side which they have been authorised to disclose. This means that the mediator can have separate, confidential meetings with each party.

What can integrated mediation and hybrid mediation achieve?

There are many advantages to these processes, as follows:

  • They can be particularly effective where time is of the essence by reducing the need to pause and reschedule meetings in order for parties to take legal or technical advice.
  • There is a greater opportunity to consolidate meetings into either a day or half day thereby requiring fewer sessions, and in some cases only one such meeting may be required, making the process much quicker.
  • There can be a greater certainty of outcome and less risk that someone may change their mind as a result of advice having to be taken outside of the process rather than within and during the course of the sessions.
  • Outcome documents are likely to be produced much quicker where the lawyers have been involved in the process and therefore understand at the outset the solution that has been reached.
  • It can be empowering for vulnerable clients having their own ‘team’ around them to ensure they are appropriately supported.

How do I find out more?

For more information about integrated and hybrid mediation as well as mediation generally, please contact either Antony Ball or Lottie Tyler of Weightmans’ family law team.

For more information about mediation generally, please contact our team of family mediation solicitors.

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