Family Mediation: Using An Advanced Hybrid Practice Model – online course – August 2020

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Trainer: Suzanne Kingston
Trainer: Karin Walker

This advanced hybrid practice model provides an invaluable additional resource to supplement the established family mediation model.

5-6 August 2020

This live and interactive course will be run online across two days.

New online course

When the Government introduced the lockdown across the country, the working life of the family law professional changed overnight!

Practitioners face a range of challenges from courts closing their doors to a loss of income. Those that can adapt embracing new ways of working, will be more able to move to the fore.

Background to this course

This course was first established by Henry Brown and supported by Suzanne Kingston and Karin Walker in 2018.

It sets out a new model which allows those who might otherwise litigate or who are reluctant to engage in the traditional mediation process.

It provides an alternative dispute resolution process aimed at enabling them to resolve their issues in an approach which is safe, confidential and supported by contemporaneous legal advice.

What is the advanced hybrid practice model?

  • This model retains all existing fundamental principles of family mediation including joint meetings, but parties’ lawyers, where appointed, have a more direct and constructive role in the process.
  • Alongside joint meetings, this model encompasses the option that mediators may have separate, confidential meetings with each party – and their lawyers where appropriate – which can facilitate exploring issues, addressing concerns and formulating proposals and settlement terms
  • Within careful boundaries, this model allows for more flexibility and creativity.

While suitable for all issues arising in day-to-day practice, this process is critically necessary where either or both parties have high conflict personalities; a separate but overlapping issue that this course will also address.

This model can be particularly useful in dealing with unmarried couples, and in other family issues such as family business or inheritance issues.

Henry Brown, who established Resolution’s original mediation training and who developed and used this family model of mediation over 15-20 years, says:

This model enhances practice and is ethically sound, it provides what many couples want and need, and it is essential in some cases. I would not now mediate without having the ability to work in this way

– Henry Brown

Mediating remotely

The model lends itself to remote meetings through which the mediator can meet with the two instructed solicitors and the couple individually with their solicitors alongside if required.

Meetings can be arranged as frequently or infrequently as required.

Documents can be scanned to all involved

If the couple are able to reach a set of proposals with which they are happy to move forwards, the solicitors can advise and, if agreement is reached, immediately draft an order by consent.

An efficient and effective process

The process is time efficient and cost effective for the couple in any event but in circumstances where court hearings are being adjourned with no firm idea when they might be re-listed, it is a process which is really coming into its own.

I have held some form of hybrid mediation meeting almost every day since I left my office on 23rd March

– Karin Walker

The technology may be daunting at first but is very easy to get to grips with. The benefits are huge for the couples who are rapidly engaging in this process. They feel safe agreeing their own outcome with the presence of their lawyers in the process and the professional guidance of an experienced mediator.

How will the course be delivered online?

We recognise the need to roll out further training quickly and remotely and so have adapted the original course.

It is presented online over two days and lasts ten hours.

Each day there is a morning (two hours) and afternoon session (three hours) to fit around other commitments.

The sessions will be run using the Zoom video conferencing application.

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