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Mediation in Family Law

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What is mediation?

Mediation is a flexible and confidential process which aims to settle a dispute between two people.

Do I have to attend mediation?

The Court expects, unless an exemption applies, all parties to attempt mediation prior to making an application to the Court, this includes, but is not limited to, any applications for:

  • Child Arrangements Order
  • Specific Issue Order
  • Prohibited Steps Order
  • Parental Responsibility Order
  • Financial Remedy Order

Will mediation benefit me?

Mediation has many positives and can be an invaluable tool in a family dispute.

Mediation allows parents/legal guardians a platform to discuss and negotiate future arrangements for child(ren) with the assistance of a trained, neutral third party. A mediator goal is to facilitate both parties to come to a agreement amicably, which works for them and their family.

Is mediation legally binding?

It is important to be aware, mediation is not legally binding. This means if one party does not follow the agreement, it is not enforceable by a Court.The mediator will prepare a document outlining your agreement so this is clear for both parties.

It may be possible when agreements are reached within mediation setting out arrangements for children to ask the Court to formalise the agreement into a Child Arrangements Order by consent (a Consent Order).

When considering whether and Order is appropriate, the Court will consider the ‘no order principle’. This means the Court will consider whether making an Order would be more beneficial to the child/ren concerned rather than no Order.

Financial agreements flowing from divorce/dissolution of civil partnership, often referred to as Consent/Clean Break Orders can also be achieved in mediation.  The resulting Orders need to be drafted by a solicitor and once drafted, presented to the Court for consideration/approval.  Once approved and sealed by the Court these Orders are legally binding.

What should I know before mediation?

Your legal rights!

A mediator cannot give you legal advice.

At ORJ our specialist family solicitors will provide you with initial, tailored advice and discuss in greater depth whether mediation is right for you and your family. If mediation is for you, we will ensure you are aware of your legal position before attending.

You can read more about mediation here

For further information, please e-mail us or call 01785 223440