In family law cases it has been a requirement for a number of years now that a would-be Applicant, either for a financial order within a divorce or a Child Arrangements Order for contact and residence to your children, has first of all to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).
Unfortunately, attending this meeting, for which there is a means tested fee, is too often treated as a formality to obtain the form needed to attach to the relevant court application. No real attempt at mediation is made.
But you can access mediation completely independently of any court proceedings, and this is a particularly effective way of dealing with disagreements over child arrangements between separated parents.
For some solicitors, dealing with private law Children cases is a headache they would rather do without. Belinda Smith & Co has a large Children law practice and will continue to do so. Nonetheless, we would advocate strongly that if there is any way that the parents can privately, between the two of them, resolve their issues concerning their children, which could include attending mediation sessions with an impartial professional (who does not give legal advice), that is by far the better route. Once you get to court, apart from it being a very expensive exercise if you have legal representation, positions often become polarised and the relationship between the parents damaged even further.
So please try mediation first but we are here to help if that doesn’t work out.
Monday, July 16th, 2018 Mediation