Do I have to go to mediation before I can apply to court?
In most cases you have to consider mediation as an option before applying to court. This means you have to have a meeting with a mediator before making an application. This meeting is called a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) and it is where the mediator gives you information about mediation and also other alternatives to court proceedings and considers whether your case is suitable for mediation.
The reason you have to consider mediation as an option before applying to court is that generally it is better if family cases are resolved with court proceedings. It is faster, cheaper and keeps you in control of the decisions which affect your family rather than allowing a judge to decide for you. Solutions reached in mediation can be more flexible and take account of your priorities as a family in a way that court imposed decisions cannot. Agreements reached in mediation are therefore more likely to be kept by all parties. Crucially where there are children involved mediation also enables the parents to communicate directly with each other which means they are better able to work together as parents in the future.
For further information or to book a MIAM, please contact Rachel Baker our Family Law Associate on 01384 340 580 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org