Hybrid mediation involves advice and support from other professionals. Most of us are now familiar with the process of mediation, where a separating couple sit with a mediator to work through and hopefully agree an arrangement as an alternative to court, however there is a new type of mediation called hybrid mediation which brings with it new elements to the process.
The difference between hybrid mediation and conventional mediation is that it can involve other professionals and experts such as accountants, valuers, independent financial advisers, psychiatrists, and independent social workers. The couple can also invite their respective lawyers to help advise and support them, during the mediation process. In this way, the mediator can spend time going between the couple and their legal advisers, to explore issues and discuss settlement proposals.
This can be particularly effective where one of the couple feels uncomfortable, or under pressure from their former partner, and needs the additional support of their lawyer being present. It also enables the input of information that might be necessary to clarify the issues and so achieve an agreement, say from accountants, financial advisers and/or whatever other professional will assist the negotiating process dependent on the nature of the dispute. Like any mediation, this gives the couple an opportunity to achieve a settlement away from the stress, delays and costs of litigation.
Hybrid mediation can be appropriate for all issues that might face a separating couple, including the settlement of finances and property, and the childcare arrangements, or indeed, both.
Each of the separating couples will need to see the hybrid mediator separately to assess whether hybrid mediation or indeed, conventional mediation is appropriate. Like all mediations, the mediation sessions can last, however long, each of the couples considers to be appropriate for them, however, given the involvement of their lawyers and other professionals, it is normally most practical for a whole day to be set aside, so that all those participants can make a concerted effort to achieve a settlement at the end of that day.
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