Mediation provides a more cost-effective alternative to resolving family disputes in comparison to court action and can help you reach a peaceful settlement. Our team of qualified family mediators have put together this list of answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive concerning the process of mediation.
If you have a question not answered below or are interested in finding out more about family mediation, contact our family law team today on 0800 2800 421 or submit a quick contact form to arrange a callback.
What are the benefits of family mediation?
Mediation offers people a way to resolve family conflict in a less confrontational and costly way than court action. What’s more, mediation gives you much more control over the situation and the resolution reached; if you go through the court, decisions involving children and assets are made for you. Many people find mediation to be a much less stressful process and see results quicker too.
In short, family mediation:
- Often achieves results faster than court action
- Is usually less costly than court action
- Is a less stressful way of dealing with sensitive issues
- Provides a safe space to discuss your dispute
- Gives you more control over the outcome
If you want to find out more about family mediation and how it could benefit you and your family, contact our team today on 0800 2800 421.
Do you have to go to mediation before divorce?
You do not need to attend mediation to issue a petition for divorce. However, since 2014, an individual who wishes to apply to the family court (for financial issues to be resolved or a child arrangements order) must first attend a MIAM (Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting) with an accredited family mediator. This is designed to discover if mediation would be a viable alternative to court action in reaching an amicable settlement.
What is a MIAM?
MIAM stands for Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting. This is your first interaction with a family mediator and gives you the opportunity to understand how the process of mediation works and direct questions to a professional. These meetings usually last around 45 minutes.
Our team of family mediators are highly experienced and can help determine if mediation is the right course of action for you. Contact our team today on 0800 2800 421 to arrange a MIAM with a member of our team.
How does family mediation work?
In short, mediation is the process of discussing your family dispute with an impartial, trained mediator over a number of sessions. Most importantly, mediation is a voluntary process; it is, therefore, most helpful when both parties are dedicated to reaching a fair settlement. Sessions can continue for as long as necessary to reach a settlement.
Is family mediation confidential?
Yes, family mediation is designed to be confidential and without bias. This means that anything you say during sessions cannot be used against you should your conflict result in a court case. You and the other party must provide your consent for details to be shared with any third party.
What happens if mediation fails?
Family mediation can take as long as necessary to reach a conclusion that is satisfactory to both parties. However, if two parties are absolutely unable to agree on a settlement or one person refuses to attend sessions, then you may proceed with your dispute at court.
Is family mediation legally binding?
Agreements made through family mediation are not in themselves legally binding. However, you can ask a solicitor to review the agreements in order to create a Consent Order.
A Consent Order is a legal document that sets out the terms of agreement reached during mediation; it is then sent off for approval by a judge. Once approved, a Consent Order is a valid Court Order which is both binding and enforceable.
When is family mediation not appropriate?
You will not be expected to attend a MIAM (Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting) in the following circumstances:
- In cases of clearly evidenced domestic violence
- An application to the court is urgently required for the safety of the applicant or other family members
- You have already attempted mediation unsuccessfully in the last 4 months
- You are currently working with social services regarding the safety of a child
- You wish to make an application to the court but do not want to inform your spouse/partner
There are several other exemptions that your case may fall under. Contact our family law solicitors on 0800 2800 421 for expert advice.
Do I have to attend mediation sessions with my spouse?
If you are not on amicable terms with your spouse, then you do not have to attend mediation sessions together. This could either be in separate rooms on the same day or on separate days altogether. This is called shuttle mediation.
Our experienced family mediators want you to feel as comfortable as possible so that you can work towards a satisfactory conclusion. Call our team today on 0800 2800 421 to talk to a member of our team.
How much does family mediation cost?
Family mediation costs will vary between mediators. Contact our team today for a no-obligation discussion regarding our mediation fees.