Mediation – New Rules

Mediation is a process where a neutral mediator helps you and your ex-partner agree on how to split your assets such as property, savings, investments, and pensions.

To progress with mediation, you first must attend a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM). This gives you the opportunity to tell the mediator about your situation and issues to be decided. Once the mediator has heard about your situation, they will tell you whether your case is suitable for mediation, about the mediation process and other options available for reaching agreements. It is then your decision if you want to proceed with mediation or explore other avenues.

Mediation is often quicker and cheaper than asking the Court to decide for you.

What changes are coming?

The Ministry of Justice announced on 26th January 2024 by way of a consultation outcome paper that:

  • The Government want to put new measures in place to encourage full consideration of alternative avenues before attending Court. The alternative avenues which are known as non-court dispute resolution [NCDR] include mediation; arbitration and collaboration. 
  • The Government want more people to attend the MIAM unless a valid exemption applies

What do the changes mean?

  • Fewer MIAM exceptions will be allowed, and the possibility for online MIAMS is being introduced.
  • Ensure the Court encourages parties to attempt to resolve their disputes through mediation.  The parties may qualify under a voucher scheme which will offer £500 towards mediation costs for eligible cases, where the person is a party to proceedings, or prospective proceedings, relating to children.
  • The Court can pause proceedings if, it is deemed that mediation is suitable at any stage in the proceedings
  • In a financial case within divorce proceedings: If the Court considers that a party has not made a reasonable attempt to attend mediation, then this can be considered as ‘conduct’ when deciding whether to order one party to pay all or part of the others legal costs.

These changes will come into force on 29th April 2024

We understand that being in a position where you need mediation can be a stressful time. At Bromleys, we can assist you with your initial mediation referral and help draft any agreements made in mediation into a formal document. We also have team members that have completed collaborative law training with Resolution and can offer collaboration, which is when two parties instruct their own solicitors to work collaboratively to negotiate and settle a case. If the case cannot be settled the parties will the instruct another solicitor to pursue a court case.

Why choose Bromleys?

Our team of Family Solicitors will assess all angles of your case to determine what course of action will lead to the most positive outcome for all parties.

We can support you with a vast range of Family Law issues including arrangements for children, divorce and separation, domestic abuse, name changes and Social Services involvement with your family. We understand that involving a solicitor in your personal family affairs may sometimes feel like a difficult thing to do, but our confidential, sensitive, and un-biased approach will allow you to feel fully supported, no matter your situation.

You can call us on 0161 330 6821 or make an enquiry directly with our Family and Divorce Team.