Family Mediation FAQS
Entering into the Family Mediation process can initially seem like a daunting prospect. Our expert mediators are here to put your mind at ease and answer any questions you may have.
Book your MIAM
Our Family Mediation team are here to take the worry off your hands. We offer a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to discuss whether ongoing mediation is appropriate for your circumstances.
Q: What can be mediated?
A: Family Mediation allows separating or divorcing couples to discuss matters which arise with children, the family home, debt, division or allocation of income and pension provision.
Family Mediation involving children can discuss where the children reside, how they share their time between parents and other important people in their lives, who pays for nursery provision, how the children spend their school holidays and what arrangements are to be made for special times throughout the year, such as Christmas, Birthdays and other special events. Education issues can also be discussed and resolved with our mediation specialists.
Family and Divorce Mediation can also extend to how parties formalise their living arrangements, for example if a separation is going to occur, the timing of the separation, whether that separation is informal or recorded formally by way of a Separation Deed or Agreement.
Q: What happens before the Family Mediation process begins?
A: Once you have decided to go forward with Family Mediation, We would need to meet with you individually; this is called a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, (MIAM).
During our meeting we will determine if family mediation will help to resolve your family disputes. If family mediation is not right your situation we will give you information about other avenues and services that you may find helpful based on our experience and expertise.
Q: Is attendance at the MIAM compulsory before a Court application concerning children or finances can be made?
A: Yes, The Ministry of Justice reforms see the introduction of compulsory family mediation information meetings so that separating couples must consider alternatives to Court when resolving financial matters and arrangements for child contact.
This is not to say that couples will be required to mediate, or that family mediation is appropriate in all cases, but rather that they must now consider this as an option. Having attended the information session, clients do not have to start Family Mediation.
It is important to remember that Family Mediation itself is not compulsory it is a voluntary process and we will provide you with information about other methods of dispute resolution in-order that you can make an informed decision.
Q: Do people have to attend a MIAM even where there has been domestic violence?
A: Yes, unless the Police have been called out within the last twelve months. However, we offer separate meetings at separate times and an assessment can be made as to whether Family mediation is suitable. Our service will automatically allocate separate meetings for assessments unless otherwise arranged.
In a number of cases where there has been some level of domestic violence, couples feel able to go on to mediate once they realise that they will be in a safe environment in. Family Mediation puts a structure to the discussion and enables negotiations to proceed safely.
We will discuss what measures are appropriate to provide that safe environment. This may involve Family mediation taking place in separate rooms (shuttle) or for there to be separate waiting areas, arrival and departure times.
Q: Why mediate rather than going to Court?
A: Emotional Impact
If clients can problem solve together, with professional support they are better able to deal with the breakdown of their relationship, maintain control over the practicalities of its end and parent effectively as separated parents.
It sends a strong message to children that they have handled a difficult emotional and practical change in their life appropriately and taken responsibility for finding a solution. Outcomes reached by clients in Family mediation concerning parenting arrangements are more long-standing and more acceptable to the family as a whole.
Delays in the Court system exacerbate the emotional impact of family disputes by prolonging them. Children can be particularly affected by this if their parents are distressed by ongoing litigation.