In most disputed divorce cases, where the spouses cannot agree divorce arrangements or financial settlement, the couple will be required to, at the very least, attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before the case will be heard by a court.
Mediation can be arranged through your divorce solicitor and legal aid funding for the sessions may be available.
To find out more about Mediation or to talk to divorce lawyers in London and Brighton about your divorce settlement, please call Healys or click here for more information on our services.
How does mediation work
There are three stages to Mediation:
- Introductory meeting or MIAM – You will meet with a mediator to find out more about mediation and how it could help you. You can attend with your spouse or alone. In some circumstances it may be prudent for the spouses to attend together, but each party will have time alone with the mediator to discuss their particular issues. The mediator will help assess whether you may be able to get legal aid to help pay for mediation. The mediator will be able to assess whether further sessions would be suitable for you and you can decide whether you wish to go ahead.
- Mediation sessions – Sessions are usually one and a half hours long and the mediator will assist the parties in setting up an agenda for each meeting. The number of sessions required will depend on the complexity of the issues and the number of aspects to be covered.According to National Family Mediation the number of sessions required for children arrangements is usually two to three, while mediation relating to finance and property usually takes three to four sessions. If couples need help with both these issues, the number of sessions required will usually be four to five. For financial negotiations the first sessions will focus on disclosure so that all parties can determine exactly what the total family assets are. The mediator may seek independent legal or financial advice in order to develop a picture of how the assets should be divided.
- Conclusion – At the end of the mediation sessions the mediator will draft a summary of outcomes, also known as a ‘memorandum of understanding’, which will include details of all the agreements reached by the couple. This can then be passed to a divorce lawyer who will use the contents to draft a consent order to present to a court. The mediation and drafting of a fair and practical consent order may mean that the court’s involvement in the case will be minimal.
Do you need to know more about mediation
If you wish to negotiate a divorce settlement with your spouse but cannot agree the details, mediation may be the right course of action for you.
Why not speak to one of Healys’ divorce lawyers in London or Brighton about how we can help.
You can call our offices or email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to assisting you in your divorce or matrimonial dispute.