What is Family Mediation?
Mediation is a means of sorting out any problems you may have when your relationship breaks down with the assistance of a mediator. The mediator facilitates a discussion between the parties but does not give legal advice during the meetings. You are therefore expected to have your own solicitor to advise you during the mediation process. However, by using mediation to resolve your family problems you will save a significant amount of time and money. Here at Reeds Family Law Solicitors Debra Stevens has been a mediator for 20 years and has mediated successfully with over 3000 couples. Within the Wakefield area Debra is the most experienced and qualified mediator and provides excellent service and value for money.
Do I have to go to mediation?
You do not have to attend mediation if you do not want to. If you would prefer to issue court proceedings and for a judge to make a decision for you then there is nothing stopping you doing this. However, before you do so you must attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to find out about mediation. You cannot issue an application at court for an order in Children’s or financial matters without attending the MIAM first.
At the MIAM meeting the mediator will give you information about the mediation process and assess whether your case is suitable to be dealt with in this way. Mediators do not give legal advice and are not acting for you as a Solicitor. Mediation is therefore not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a Solicitor. There will be a charge for this meeting.
If you and the other party decide not to resolve matters using mediation, or if mediation is not appropriate such as where there has been domestic abuse, the mediator will sign your application form so that you can issue court proceedings.