Family mediation is a process by which couples are able to negotiate the arrangements for their future with the help of a Family Mediator who acts as a neutral third party.
What is Family Mediation?
- Family mediation is a voluntary and confidential process which helps parties reach joint decisions without the use of the Courts.
- It provides a safe place for you to resolve differences at your pace.
- Family mediation enables you to consider and recognise the needs of your children and make arrangements for them which suit your individual family needs which may be very different to any arrangements a Judge could impose upon you within Court proceedings.
- Mediators will not tell you what to do but will help you look at different options for sorting things out.
- Mediation is available for married couples and people who live together including civil partners or unmarried couples and is also available for all aspects of Family Law including divorce, financial matters and children issues.
- Mediation is voluntary. There will be no undue pressure on you to take part in the process. However, Courts usually expect you to attend mediation before starting Court proceedings and Family Mediation is becoming the preferred method to resolve and prevent family disputes especially where children are involved.
- The Mediator is entirely impartial and will not direct or express a personal opinion although he or she may provide information and guidance to assist you.
- Mediation is confidential unless there are child protection, domestic violence or money laundering issues. Any proposals which you both agree upon will be incorporated into a confidential summary which will not be legally binding until approved by Lawyers or the Court and cannot be referred to in Court proceedings.
- Legal aid is still available for mediation subject to certain financial requirements.
If you feel mediation would assist you please contact us to arrange a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MAIM) with one of our Mediators at either our Hull or Scunthorpe office.
Since April 2011 anyone applying to the Courts in connection with Family matters to resolve issues about parenting or finances following relationship breakdown has to apply with a pre-application protocol.The pre-application protocol requires you to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM).
At a MIAM the Mediator will:-
- Assess whether you are entitled to legal aid. Pepperells can grant free legal aid if you meet the relevant criteria.
- If you do not qualify will explain the cost of mediation.
- • Explain the process of mediation and discuss with you how it might benefit you in your individual circumstances.
- Discuss the cost implication of going to Court against the potential cost of mediation.
- • The Mediator will obtain certain information from you including whether there has been any domestic abuse/violence in the past. If there has this may not preclude mediation taking place as suitable safeguards can be put in place. These will be discussed with you at the MIAM appointment.
If you decide not to undertake the mediation process or it is not considered suitable by the Mediator, the Mediator can provide you with the FM1 form required by the Court when filing your application.