Mediation is a process which is voluntary for all concerned. You and your former partner may wish to attend mediation to resolve financial issues arising from your separation or divorce and any impact this may have on your children. Consideration may also be given to sorting out the arrangements for the future of the children including who they are to live with and how often the other parent shall have contact.
As an experienced family lawyer, our mediator can provide information about how courts deal with issues concerning children, pensions, child maintenance and the factors of which the courts take in to account when dealing with financial issues on divorce and separation. Our mediator will assist you in finding a solution which works for you both practically and financially.
Our mediator has been trained to be impartial and all matters discussed in mediation will remain confidential with the exception of the financial information supplied by you both. This can be produced to a court in the future if your case cannot be resolved in mediation or if you are asking the court to approve an agreement which you have reached.
The benefits of family mediation
One of the benefits of resolving matters through mediation is that you conclude an agreement which you are both comfortable with and which has not been imposed upon you. The mediation process takes the sting out of the relationship breakdown and can be relatively quick and inexpensive compared to legal proceedings. This is particularly beneficial where there are children who are frequently adversely affected by their parents’ relationship breakdown. It can help children to see their parents working together to resolve issues.
How long does mediation take?
The process usually takes 4 - 6 sessions at the end of which (if financial matters have been discussed) you will be provided with an Open Financial Statement setting out your financial circumstances and the written agreement known as the Memorandum of Understanding. This document is not binding until legal advice has been taken on it from your respective solicitors and it has been put into a legally binding agreement which either the court can be asked to approve on divorce or which can become a binding legal separation agreement.
Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)
Court rules require that before making a court application in relation to family matters, the applicant must consider with a mediator at a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) whether the dispute may be capable of being resolved by a method other than court proceedings.