Family mediation: your questions answered

What is mediation?


Mediation is a way of resolving disputes after separation or divorce that aims to avoid costly and lengthy court proceedings. You and your husband / wife / partner meet with a mediator whose jobs it is to help you reach agreement on whatever issues you cannot agree on. This could be in relation to divorce, financial settlement or arrangements for children.


The mediator always acts impartially and so will not give legal advice to either party and cannot impose a decision without both parties’ agreement. However, because mediation meetings are confidential, they are a safe environment in which to discuss and resolve issues that arise openly and honestly.

Do I have to attend mediation meetings with my husband / wife / partner


Most mediation involves the separated couple meeting the mediator together. However, if you would prefer not to we can arrange for the mediator to meet with you separately – either at separate times or in separate rooms. This is called shuttle mediation.

Do I have to go to mediation before divorce?


You do not have to go to mediation before issuing a petition for divorce. If, however, you have to issue an application for the financial issues to be resolved, or an application for an order relating to your children, then it will be necessary for you to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before being able to make the application. The purpose of the meeting is to see if mediation could be used to resolve your difficulties rather than going straight to the court.


Mediation can provide, in some cases, a quick and low cost method of resolving family law issues with your former partner.

What if my spouse fails to attend mediation meetings?


If your spouse does not attend mediation meetings the mediator may conclude that mediation is not appropriate for your case. This often makes court proceedings more likely but we can still work with you to resolve your dispute in other ways without going to court.

More questions?


If you have more questions please go to our FAQs on divorce, custody and child maintenance, financial claims and prenuptial agreements.


If you have a question that isn’t here or would like to speak to one of our family solicitors, then do get in touch with Alex Davies on 01892 506 326 or