Family mediation takes the decision-making process away from the courts and allows you to decide on what will happen with your financial and parenting arrangements moving forwards.
It is a less stressful and usually a quicker, cheaper and more amicable way of resolving your disputes.
Since April 2014 it is a legal requirement to at least consider mediation before you can submit an application to the court. There are currently 15 exemptions
to this, which are mainly concerned with domestic abuse and child safety. In most cases you will need to attend a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (a MIAM) in order to go to court.
Mediation itself is a voluntary process, so you do not have to attend any further sessions after your MIAM, although if you have been invited to attend mediation and have declined, the judge may want you to explain your reasons why.
The mediator will help you focus on the issues that need to be resolved. They will move the conversation forward and help you focus on your future and not the past. They cannot give legal advice but can share legal knowledge and experience. The mediator will not tell you what to do but will instead work with you both to reach an agreement you can move forwards with.
Once agreement is reached the mediator will usually draft this into a parenting plan, memorandum of understanding and a financial statement.
It is really important to take independent legal advice before and during the mediation process. DFA Law can also check the final agreement you have reached and we will be able to draft this into a legally binding order to protect the integrity of your agreement.
Alternatively DFA Law LLP work closely with the following mediation service: