Mediation is a means of resolving any kind of family dispute without attending court. It is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Disputes resolved through mediation can become legally binding agreements.
Mediation can take place before or during court proceedings. It is encouraged by the family courts as a very effective alternative to litigation. It often involves less time and expense than the court process.
As of 22 April 2014, attendance at a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting – or “MIAM” – is compulsory before making an application to court on a private law matter, unless an exemption applies. FOURTEEN’s Mandy Short considers the implications of the new rules in a short article, available to download here.
A mediator will be an expert in the area(s) of law in dispute and will help the parties to communicate with each other and reach an agreement between themselves. A mediator’s role is to be fair and impartial. The mediation process itself is entirely confidential.
If mediation is successful, the mediator will prepare a record of the parties’ agreement (a Memorandum of Understanding) which can form the basis of a legally binding agreement.
We offer mediation services that cover all aspects of family law, from the financial consequences on the breakdown of a relationship, to disputes involving children following their parents’ separation.
We also work with local authorities where mediation can assist families to deal with the involvement of the local authority with their family, both in relation to children and vulnerable adults.
Not all cases will be suitable for mediation – particularly if there has been a history of domestic violence or there is a complex issue of law in dispute. Our mediators will help you to decide whether mediation is the right way forward.
We can arrange an appointment with a mediator at short notice. If you are interested in learning whether a trained mediator can help with your case, please click here or call our clerks on 020 7242 0858.