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Divorcees Shun Government Policy On ‘Compulsory’ Mediation Meetings

Family Law Experts Highlight The Benefits Of Mediation

11.04.2016

Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

New figures show that a landmark regulation, aimed at promoting mediation as the preferred way of settling disputes over parenting, finance and property has failed.

Family law experts from Irwin Mitchell have highlighted the importance of holistic practices, such as mediation, when it comes to couples separating.

In April 2014 the Children and Families Act placed a statutory requirement on applicants in relevant family proceedings to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before making an application for divorce proceedings to the court, unless there was an exemption.

Figures obtained by a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Justice, by National Family Mediation, show that in 2014/15 only one in 20 applications for private law proceedings to a family court followed the new ‘compulsory’ route - fewer than 5,000 MIAMs out of over 112,000 private law applications. 

The ‘traditional’ route for divorce centred around the court room and saw family law judges making decisions on behalf of spouses.

Mediation enables families to take have greater control over the division of their assets and arrangements regarding children, rather than handing it over to the courts.

Partner Alison Hawes from Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Family Law team, which provides support to couples going through separation, said that couples should be encouraged to use mediation.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Family Law.

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