Mediation vs Adjudication

As we highlighted in April 2011, there has been a change in approach in family law when resolving disputes concerning children and financial matters. This change was introduced to have a twofold advantage; to encourage individuals to consider a more amicable alternative, and to reduce the volume of matters progressing through the courts.

If couples are unable to resolve their differences over finances or children, at least one of them must first attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before applying to the court. The aim of this meeting is to inform individuals about mediation so that they consider if their dispute can be resolved in this way. In certain circumstances the need to attend a ‘MIAM’ can be dispensed with where there has been domestic violence for example.

Mediation can be of great assistance to many and not only in the family law sphere. It can have significant benefits over the traditional court route. The very nature of the court process pits one individual against the other, making it hard to maintain relationships. Within mediation, participants work together, with the mediator to resolve their differences, hopefully helping to maintain communication and their relationship into the future. Participants control the agenda and can work on solutions that best suit their circumstances. Mediation can be quicker and is often more cost effective than the alternatives.

Both participants must be willing to meet with their former partner to make mediation work so the process will not be right for all, but it is certainly worth considering as an alternative to the traditional route.

For more information about mediation please contact Grace Parker-White on 01483 401250 or by email to grace.parker-white@stevens-bolton.com.
 

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Grace Parker-White

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