Family mediation is primarily for couples who are separating, divorcing or who are dissolving a civil partnership – as well as couples who have lived together (co-habited) without entering into a formal arrangement such as marriage or a co-habiting agreement.
In some cases, family mediation may also be available to people who may never have lived together – for example, if they have a child together but were never in a relationship and there are issues over child care and support.
It is possible for people who are getting divorced or dissolving a civil partnership to seek family mediation on their own over issues with a partner or ex-partner. In these cases the Mediator will contact their partner to ask if they will agree to attend family mediation meetings in the future. If the partner agrees, then it is possible to have family mediations sessions alone to discuss issues.
It is also possible for other family members to attend family mediation
sessions – for example, any child of the relationship who may wish to be involved in decisions about where they live and which parent they live with on a day-to-day basis.
It is also possible for grandparents to attend family mediations sessions – for example, if they might be involved in caring for the children or have a financial interest in the family’s property.
In some cases, family mediators may also be able to help where there has been family breakdown and a young person has left home and is homeless.
Family mediation might not always be suitable for some people, however – and for a number of circumstances, including:
The court will require evidence that family mediation has been considered in a case, even if it is deemed not suitable – a C100 form is completed to show this before a court hearing can take place.
Family mediation is generally suitable for most couples in dispute over a divorce settlement or when dissolving a civil partnership – and figures from the Ministry of Justice show that between 2013 and 2014, a total of 79% of family mediation cases reached agreement without resorting to the courts.
For more information about Family Mediation and an initial assessment, call Duncan Lewis Divorce Solicitors in confidence on 020 7923 4020.