Frequently Asked Questions

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Instead of family mediation, is it simpler to go straight to a solicitor?

  • Family mediation is much quicker and less stressful  than heading straight to court.
  • It is usually cheaper too.
  • It enables you to shape long-term solutions that are in your family’s best interests.
  • Family mediation allows families to keep control of their own destinies. It helps shape settlements over parenting, money and property, instead of handing control over to the courts.

Does family mediation remove the need for court or solicitor involvement?

Family mediation does not totally remove the need for solicitors.

The process can work well in various circumstances. And this includes where each person wants to use a solicitor to give relevant advice between mediation sessions. When agreement is reached in family mediation a solicitor can look at what you’ve agreed. Then they can put this into a binding legal document called a Consent Order.

The Consent Order will then need to be ratified by a family court. If you do not use a solicitor the Court will help finalise your agreements in a Consent Order. 

Should I choose a family mediator with a legal background?

The background of the family mediator is not relevant. It’s because all our mediators are skilled and knowledgeable in helping you identify the information you need to make decisions. They do not give advice. That’s because that would affect their impartiality and could be very uncomfortable for participants. 

You are encouraged to seek your own separate advice to ensure you make fully-informed decisions. 

Is NFM linked to the Courts?

No. As a registered charity NFM is completely independent of the family courts.

When might I need court forms?

If either person decides against mediation, or if mediation breaks down, you or your ex may want to make an application to court. Unless there is a valid exemption to mediation, it is a legal requirement that an accredited family mediator signs the appropriate court form/s as evidence that you have considered mediation.

Is NFM a government department?

Not at all. NFM is a registered charity that exists to help families make settlements over things they need to settle after separation.