According to recent statistics on legal aid this year, family mediation cases are on the increase, with 64% of all mediation outcomes resulting in a successful agreement.
This is good news in an era where more and more people are going through the family court without a solicitor; in circumstances when mediation might have been a more appropriate option.
But what exactly is it, and what does it involve? We answer some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to family mediation:
- Family mediation is a process whereby you will discuss your family law issues together with an independent person (the mediator). The principle is that you will explore all of your options in an open and amicable environment with a view to reaching an agreement, without having to use solicitors or the courts.
- If you want to make an application to court, you must first attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. This is usually shortened to a MIAM and involves you speaking to a mediator about the issues in question; the principles and process of mediation; and is an opportunity for the mediator to assess whether mediation is suitable to your case.
- You do not need to have a solicitor to attend mediation. Some people like to have some legal advice alongside mediation because a mediator cannot offer legal advice.
- The cost of mediation varies depending on the time taken and the number of sessions. Mediation is, however, a cheaper option than using solicitors or the court.