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Family Mediation FAQ

On the 6th April 2011 the Government issued new guidelines which require couples to attend Family Mediation in cases where they are contesting the terms of their separation or divorce.

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This means that a Mediation awareness session must be attended before they can go to Court, the hope being that many issues can be resolved without the need to go to Court and the additional costs that this incurs.

Exemptions apply in cases involving domestic abuse or child protection issues.

Legal Aid is available for Family Mediation for some applicants who qualify financially, contact us to see if you qualify.

Here are answers to some of the questions we are most frequently asked about Family Mediation.


What is Family Mediation?

Family Mediation is a form of dispute resolution aimed at reaching an agreement on the factors involved in a divorce or separation. These can include arrangements for children, financial settlements, property and the terms of the separation or divorce. The aim is to avoid lengthy and costly Court proceedings.

A third party mediator, someone who is independent of both parties and their solicitors, will assist in the negotiations.

Family Mediation is not marriage counselling and is not aimed at trying to save the relationship. (We can refer you to these services if required).

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Is there a benefit to Family Mediation, rather than a straight forward separation/divorce?

Family Mediation can have a number of benefits, including:

  • Reducing financial costs incurred during the separation/divorce process
  • Facilitating quicker resolutions
  • Maintaining communication between the separating parties
  • Retains the decision making with the separating parties rather than handing over the decision making to the Courts
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  • The possibility of a less acrimonious separation

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What do we talk about at Family Mediation?

During Family Mediation the agenda for discussions is set by the separating parties. These may involve, children, finances, property and the divorce or separation itself.

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Do I have to attend Family Mediation?

If you or your partner are disputing the terms of your separation then you will have to attend an initial Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before you can go to Court.

You cannot however be forced to attend Mediation after this unless both parties wish to proceed down this route.

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Our lawyers offer legal advice and representation at court or the police station on a private or legal aid basis. Legal aid is available in some areas of law only. Please see our pages on legal aid for more advice. We offer a free initial consultation in some areas of law. Personal Injury compensation claims can be conducted on a 'no win no fee' basis.