For couples that separate, there are often issues to be resolved and compromises to be made, particularly where children are involved. Our FAQs should help to demonstrate when mediation can help.
Q: Do we have to go through mediation before we can get divorced?
A: No. However, in almost every case involving child custody, you will need to show that you have at least seriously considered mediation before applying to the Court for what is called a ‘Child Arrangements Order’.
Q: How do we decide if mediation is for us?
A: Your solicitor or lawyer will be able to advise you about a ‘Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting’ (MIAM). Here, you will be able to receive information about how mediation works, what it is likely to cost and the length of time it could take to resolve the issues you have.
Q: What are the benefits of mediation?
A: Mediation can save time and money that may otherwise be spent at Court. It also gives you the opportunity to be directly involved in decisions that affect both your life and the lives of your children.
Mediators are professionally trained and will often have practiced as a family lawyer before becoming a mediator.
Q: Do we have to pay for mediation?
A: Mediation is not free and mediators often charge by the hour. Contacting a number of mediators will help you to assess which one would suit you best.
Q: Is there Legal Aid available for mediation costs?
A: Since changes in family law were made on 1st April 2013, Legal Aid has become far more difficult to access. It is however, still possible to obtain Legal Aid to pay for mediation and if you are eligible for this, it will also enable you to obtain Legal Aid to receive legal advice whilst you are mediating.
Q: How do we find out if we are eligible for Legal Aid for mediation costs?
A: A financial assessment will be undertaken to establish whether you qualify for Help with Mediation. If you do qualify, mediation and the legal advice received throughout mediation will not cost you anything.
Q: Is mediation suitable for everyone?
A: No – in certain circumstances you may be exempt from attending mediation. For example, if there has been an allegation of domestic violence or if there is a welfare concern with regards to a child, it is unlikely that mediation would be appropriate.
Other questions about family and divorce mediation
If you have any other questions about mediation then please call and speak with one of our specialist family lawyers today. We are happy to answer your initial questions over the phone and can offer you a discounted fixed fee first appointment if you want to come and see us.
Bray & Bray’s family lawyers are based at our three main offices in Leicestershire. For a no obligation chat about your situation, call our friendly team today at your local office by clicking on the links below: