Is it required to mediate disputes involving the family? Should it be the case?
We are aware that going through a breakup in a relationship is already challenging enough without having to become fluent in an entirely new legal language. In this section, we address some of the most often asked issues regarding mediation and shed some light on its many advantages.
Should I go to the Berkshire mediation session?
The courts have a favourable view of mediation, and they are eager to have as many parties as possible participate in this alternative dispute resolution method. A MIAM, which stands for a mediation information and assessment meeting, is required in many instances because of this reason. Our staff includes seasoned arbitrators and mediators who are available to preside over your MIAM. You are not required to continue with this lesson plan if you do not feel that it is beneficial to you, and you do not have to mediate at this time if you do not like to do so.
To summarise, mediation is not required, and if there are worries over your safety or any other difficulties, you may also be excluded from participating in an MIAM. The fact that mediation is done on a voluntary basis contributes to its high level of efficiency; nevertheless, if it were mandated, this benefit would be lost.
Why does the judicial system place such a strong emphasis on mediation?
Because it lowers stress and isn’t as inflamatory as legal processes may often be, mediation is a good choice for resolving many different types of family disputes. Because both your decisions and your involvement are entirely up to you, you are in a better position to arrive at a solution that satisfies all parties involved in the long run. Because the mediator will assist in making communication between you and the other party more successful, using one is highly recommended, particularly when there are children involved in the dispute. When disagreements include young children, the goal will be to find a settlement that is as beneficial as possible for the children involved, and mediation can assist you in achieving this goal.
Keep in mind, however, that the act of mediating itself is not required, and the professionals here at Laurus will be able to recommend a strategy that will be most beneficial to you. Because the members of the Laurus team each have their own areas of expertise in the field of family law, you can rest assured that you will have an experienced professional on your side no matter which path you select, even if mediation does not prove to be an effective method for reaching the result that you desire.
Two individuals chatting while sitting on a sofa.
What exactly does place during the mediation?
The process of mediation consists mostly of a series of meetings, during which you and the other person involved work together to reach an understanding regarding any issues that need to be resolved. You won’t be able to do this on your own; a mediator is a neutral third party who will help you evaluate your choices, ensure that the negotiations are conducted in an equitable manner, and make sure that both of you get an opportunity to express your side of the story. They won’t try to force you to reconcile with your spouse, nor will they take a position in the conflict between the two of you.
The mediator is unable to make decisions that are legally binding; but, after you have reached a conclusion, they may assist you in converting it into a consent order, which is then issued by the courts.
In most cases, mediation will take place in a setting that is neutral but not overly official, such as an attorney’s office. We strongly recommend that in addition to the mediator for both sides, you also hire a family lawyer to represent your own interests. Your Laurus attorney will make sure that you understand everything and will work to ensure that your negotiations get the results you desire.
Should I go through with this mediation thing?
Family mediation can address a wide variety of issues, such as those pertaining to children, relationships and the collapse of relationships, as well as disagreements around finances or property.
The use of mediation to resolve legal difficulties or arguments is not restricted to married couples; grandparents, civil partners, and those who have previously lived together can also participate.
It would appear that this is the beginning of a line of reasoning that is gaining traction. The administration has made it quite clear that they want to locate a solution that would allow them to cut down on the backlog. And, about the same time that the voucher plan was introduced, it became public knowledge that the commercial courts were looking into the possibility of implementing mandatory mediation for all civil cases in an effort to decrease their own backlog.
The notion that mandatory family mediation should be implemented is not a novel one.
In 2005, Oxford University produced a briefing note titled “Intervening in litigation contact: approaches from various countries,” in which the authors argued that forced mediation should be taken into consideration. According to their findings, the obligatory mediation produced more gratifying results than the voluntary mediation did.
In spite of the facts, ministers who were debating the Children and Adoption Act that was passed in December 2005 and went into effect in January 2006 concluded that mediation should be promoted, but it should not be made compulsory. They believed that one of the mediation process’s primary merits was its emphasis on voluntary participation.
The topic of mediation was brought up again by the government in 2013, and contrary to widespread consensus, they decided to make mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAM) obligatory for all parties in England and Wales.
However, if the administration is serious about decreasing the backlog at the family court, it might very well be time to renew the topic of making forced mediation a requirement. Even though the voucher scheme has made mediation more accessible, a greater take up must be beneficial to our overrun and overworked family courts. This is especially true if judges are able to remind separating couples of the option to take a different, more collaborative route that is available to them.
There will always be people who continue to support the voluntary aspect of family mediation, not the least of which is the fact that it gives participants the option of leaving the process at any point should they feel that it is not delivering what it should be delivering. This is something that will never change.
However, if every couple was required to try to get to that point having opened a meaningful discussion about their situation, family, assets, and property with the support of a trained mediator, at least some of the burden would be taken away from the courts. This would allow the courts to focus on more important matters.
MIAMS, which stands for Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings
Since 2014, a potential applicant has been needed to attend an MIAM with an accredited family mediator in order to submit an application to the family court. This requirement has been in effect (unless they satisfy one of the exemptions)
That’s not mediation, that’s MIAM. Before asking a judge to make judgments for these people, it is important to examine whether or not all possible methods of conflict resolution outside of the court system have been investigated. The Mediator Information and Referral Meeting (MIAM) is a chance to get information about mediation and alternative methods of conflict resolution, as well as to give pertinent signposting that may be helpful to all parties involved. This is what an MIAM is meant to do.
The “trigger” for an MIAM is a firm intention to file a lawsuit at some point in the near future (make a court application). It is not to coerce anybody into participating in the mediation process, not even a single person or couple.
On the other hand, participation in an MIAM is required of any applicant in the majority of family court cases, and attendance from the respondent is strongly encouraged (in either case, unless they satisfy one of the exemptions). A MIAM is often done on an individual basis, and participants are under no obligation to attend with their previous partner.
A Respondent has the option of attending an MIAM on their own, albeit it is required that they do so with the same authorised family mediator.
Do I really need to go to the mediation session?
You should make an effort to mediate most of the conflicts. As was indicated earlier, the applicant who is thinking about filing a court application is required by law to take this aspect into consideration. However, in order to satisfy the family court, both parties must be able to show that they have contemplated participating in mediation. Attending an MIAM will allow you to accomplish your goal. You will have the chance to discuss your case with a qualified mediator at the MIAM.
This mediator will provide you with an explanation of the mediation process and will assist you in determining whether or not mediation is an appropriate method for resolving your disagreement. It’s possible that the mediator will determine that you don’t need to participate in the mediation process because they feel it wouldn’t be beneficial.
This information may be provided to you by the mediator either during or after the MIAM; however, the mediator is not required to provide their reasoning. You will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you have about attending mediation at the MIAM. In situations when there is a strong potential for confrontation, the mediator could offer shuttle mediation. This would entail that neither side would have to see or talk directly with the other throughout the mediation process.