FAQs on family law mediation


What is family law mediation?

Family law mediation involves the parties to a dispute, usually a husband and wife or civil partners, coming before a mediator to try to resolve their dispute. Common disputes relate to disagreement over the care of children, living arrangements or financial matters following the breakdown of the relationship.

A mediator is an independent third party who tries to encourage the parties to communicate openly to resolve their dispute.

Is family law mediation voluntary?

In the UK, family law mediation is a voluntary process. In some other jurisdictions, such as Australia, parties must try mediation before they can apply for a court to resolve their problem. As mediation is voluntary, it relies on the cooperation of both parties for it to be successful.

Is family law mediation binding?

Family law mediation is not legally binding. The mediator cannot give the parties legal advice, nor can the mediator tell the parties what solution they should accept. Both parties should obtain independent legal advice from a family law solicitor throughout the process.

Can an agreement be entered into in family law mediation?

Although mediation is not legally binding, the process can be used to draw up a binding agreement. If an agreement is reached, the parties can write down the fundamental points of their agreement and then ask a family law solicitor to draw it up into a binding agreement, or ask the court to make orders in those terms.

What if family law mediation is unsuccessful?

If family mediation is unsuccessful the parties can proceed through the normal court system. Another option is for each party to instruct family law solicitors who are experienced in ‘collaborative law’. Through the collaborative law process, both parties and their solicitors meet regularly with the aim of reaching an agreement at the end of the process. Both mediation and collaborative law can save both parties great expense.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on UK family mediation services, Caven can put you in touch with local family mediators free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local family mediators please call us at 08001 221 2299.

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