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The Benefits of Attempting Mediation

Posted: 10-04-2018

Under Section 10(1) of the Children and Families Act 2014, before making an application to court in relevant family proceedings, all applicants will be required (unless an exemption applies) to attend an information meeting about family mediation. This meeting is called a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

A MIAM is held with an authorised mediator who will discuss with you the mediation process and how it might help your own circumstances. Your ex-partner will also be invited to attend the MIAM, however they do not have to attend the same meeting as you. The MIAM’s role is to measure the suitability of mediation for your circumstances.

It may seem, in some cases, like a waste of time and money to attend a MIAM if you know the other party is not going to co-operate and engage but it is a hoop that must be jumped before the court process can be entered into.  There are many benefits to attempting mediation and court should always be the last resort.

These benefits have been set out below:

  • Mediation is more time and cost effective than court proceedings which can become financially and emotionally draining on a family due to the long drawn-out process.
  • Mediation is less formal than court proceedings and a far less stressful way of dealing with sensitive matters. This means that there is less conflict between you and your ex-spouse, and matters can be resolved as amicably as possible. This is essential – especially when there are children involved, as it helps to maintain important family relationships.
  • Overall, mediation allows you to have much more of a say in your future, rather than having the decision be made by a judge. It also allows you to be more flexible with any agreement.

It is for these reasons that mediation is encouraged before any application is made to the Court. However, if meditation is unsuccessful then you will still have the opportunity to go to court or attempt another alternative dispute method if need be.

Not all mediators undertake a MIAM, therefore if you feel that mediation may be unsuccessful and you would like the option to make an application to Court, please ensure your mediator provides MIAMs.

The links below provide useful information about mediation and divorce costs.

This article does not constitute legal advice and is for general information purposes only.