For a family lawyer, mediation is a process that most of us will encourage our clients to consider, before they instruct us in any legal formalities concerning their relationship breakdown.
Attempting mediation has been compulsory now for a number of years, particularly in respect of Children cases. You can’t make an application to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order as it is now known (for Residence and/or Contact) unless you have attended an appointment with the mediator who in turn will invite the other parent to participate. It is only the Applicant in the Court case who has to attend mediation – unfortunately there is no such compulsion of the other parent so it is at this stage that mediation often breaks down. You will be given a certificate from the qualified mediator that you can then attach to your Court application form.
The same process applies, more or less, for the financial side of a divorce case. The spouses can save themselves legal costs by using a mediator to oversee the exchange of financial disclosure, and, if it all goes well and you feel you can negotiate on equal terms with your other half, mediation can go right through to drafting a Memorandum of Agreement which you can then take to your solicitor to turn into a consent court order.
You can dip in and out of mediation whilst keeping your family solicitor instructed, so if you have any queries about this process, contact a specialist family law solicitor for advice.
Monday, May 16th, 2016 Mediation