Requirement for separating couples to find out about mediation before going to Court

The Children and Families Act was given Royal Assent on 13th March 2014 meaning reforms will be introduced as part of the re-launched family court system being implemented on 22nd April 2014.  From that date it will be a requirement for separating couples to attend a meeting (called a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting) to find out about mediation before they are allowed to take disputes over finances or children to Court (unless certain exceptions apply).

If the Mediator feels that Mediation is not suitable for one of several specified reasons, a MIAMs form will be completed confirming to the Court why this is.  The completed form will be required by the Court before any Court Application regarding children or finances is issued unless it is an urgent matter.

Family Justice and Civil Liberties Minister, Simon Hughes MP, said “We want to keep families away from the negative effects that going to Court can have and to use alternative solutions when they are suitable.  This is why we have changed the law to make sure that separating couples consider mediation as an alternative to a courtroom battle.”

To find out more about mediation contact a member of our Family team.

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