Mediation Appointments Now Compulsory before Obtaining a Court Order


Even if the decision is made amicably, divorce is a stressful experience that not only affects the couples involved but has additional factors to consider when it comes to property, assets and (most importantly), children and families.

With an expert team of family mediators available Essex Mediation has helped countless parties resolve their issues, confident that mediation is a less stressful, more financially viable alternative to the court system, and it seems that the government now agrees too.

What the New Reforms Mean for Mediation

Every year within England and Wales it is estimated that approximately 120,000 couples choose to end their marriage, and despite mediation averaging £500 to resolve a family dispute (compared to £4000 for court appearances), only 50% of adults would consider using a mediator.

Under new government reforms to the Children and Families Bill, it is now compulsory for those experiencing a family dispute to attend an MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting) before seeking a court order.

Why were the reforms introduced to encourage mediation?

Recent figures have revealed Chelmsford as having one of the busiest divorce courts in the UK, and whilst the new reforms are being introduced in an effort to reduce legal budgets, the Family Justice Office are keen to stresses that mediation is the best option for all parties involved.

In a recent interview with The Times, Family Justice Minister Simon Hughes stated that “when people separate we want them to do it in the least damaging way for everyone involved, especially children. That is why we want them to use the excellent mediation services available to agree a way forward, rather than have one forced upon them.”

How to Arrange your Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting

Divorce is never an easy experience to go through, which is why Essex Mediation offer a range of mediation services to support families during this difficult time. We offer free Mediation and Assessment Meetings to help families start resolving their issues, and if eligible for legal aid our mediation services are completely free.

Contact us today to see how our experienced mediation team can help you with your family disputes.