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Is family mediation compulsory?

Before applying to court for a decision on finances or parenting, the law requires most people to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) with an accredited mediator.  

It is expected that the majority of people experiencing divorce or separation will take responsibility for their post separation life. After all, the families are the experts in their own lives, and the court expects to be the place of last resort when all other attempts to settle disputes have failed.  

This initial MIAM meeting gives you an opportunity to find out what mediation is about, find out if it is suitable for you and your circumstances and look at the issues you have to consider, to achieve divorce or separation before taking part in full mediation. 

However, undertaking full mediation is voluntary. Our mediators will help you proceed with mediation in the most comfortable way for you and your circumstances, but if it goes ahead both people do need to agree to attend. (Please note that in some cases it is possible to make an arrangement whereby both people need not be in the same room during family mediation sessions.)

*The law makes a small number of exceptions to this rule, for example where domestic violence has occurred or in cases of bankruptcy. 

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