Mediation Information and Assessment for Separating Parents
Before you start court proceedings over money, property, possessions or arrangements for children, you must usually have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. It might be a long name, but the meeting gets right to the point when it comes to giving useful help and advice.
How Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings work
At the meeting a mediator will try to work out if mediation can help both sides reach an agreement. Depending on your preference, you can attend the meeting alone or with your husband, wife or civil partner. During the meeting, you’ll be able to find out more about mediation and ask any questions you may have about the process. In addition, they can also give you advice on any other services that may be able to help you.
After the Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting
After the meeting, if you and the mediator feel that mediation can help you reach an agreement, you can start mediation sessions. If you are not going to start mediation sessions and you decide to apply to court instead, the mediator will need to sign the court form.
When you won't be expected to have a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting
The court won’t expect you to have attended a mediation meeting if:
- a mediator doesn’t think the case is suitable for mediation and has said so within the past four months
- either of you has made an allegation of domestic violence against the other within the past 12 months and police investigations or civil proceedings were started
- your dispute is about money and either of you is bankrupt
- you don’t know where your husband, wife or civil partner is
- you want to apply for a court order but for specific reasons don’t intend to give your husband, wife or civil partner any notice
- the court application is urgent because someone’s life or physical safety is at risk or a child is at risk of significant harm
- the order is about a child who is already involved with social services because of concerns over their protection
- you’ve contacted three mediators within 15 miles of your home and are unable to get an appointment with any of them within 15 working days
Our legal advice section of this site has a wealth of legal advice for separating parents.