Why do I need to use Mediation?
The Government is committed to encouraging more people to resolve their disputes outside of the courtroom, which is why it has introduced legislation to require you to consider mediation before going to court. From April 2014, if you are considering court action over a dispute about children or finances, the law says you must attend a mediation meeting first to see if it could help.
Do I need to use a solicitor or a lawyer as well?
No, you do not necessarily need to see a lawyer as a first step when you decide to separate or divorce - you can go straight to a mediator. You can ask for legal advice at any stage in the mediation process. For those eligible for legal aid for mediation, there may be financial support for legal help as well.
Do I have to pay for Mediation?
Possibly, at the initial Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting the Mediator will assess you and the other party’s eligibility for Legal Aid. If you are not eligible you will need to pay for your mediation.
Are decisions made at mediation legally binding?
What if Mediation doesn't work for me?
At the Mediation and Information Assessment Meeting we will examine whether mediation could work for you. If after consideration, you decide it is not for you, you can still go to court to settle your disputes. This is likely to be more costly and will take longer to resolve however it is always your choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mediation works because it helps you to find practical solutions that feel fair. It gives you more say in what happens, is cheaper and takes less time than going to court. It is less stressful especially for children. Some frequently asked questions are listed below, however if you have any questions or concerns please contact us.
What if my partner will not attend a MIAM?
If you partner will not attend a MIAM or refuses to mediate, you can represent yourself in court without your partner being present. You will need to obtain a C100 form before attending which you can only receive from a mediator after a MIAM. You should discuss this with you mediator who will talk you through the process of self representation. The Family Court without a Lawyer also provides useful information.
Where can I find out more about Mediation?
The Family Mediation Association is a membership organisation for family mediators. They are a lead body and member organisation of the Family Mediation Council, the umbrella for professional family mediators. Their websites have lots of useful information which will help you.