IF I REFUSE TO GO TO MEDIATION, WILL IT APPEAR BAD?
Although Mediation Staines is always a voluntary procedure, the courts can and will scrutinise both parties’ conduct before to and throughout the court proceedings. A critical component of this behaviour is demonstrating that you acted appropriately and sought alternative conflict resolution methods, such as family mediation, while adhering to court processes.
Conduct, including a refusal to mediate without a compelling cause, might be considered in determining expenses and, in financial disputes, in dividing assets. Consider the material below to learn more about what happens if you do not attend mediation. Family Mediator Farnham
Since April 2014, it has been a legal necessity to attend an MIAM to assist you assess the benefits of family Mediation Staines before to submitting a court application for child arrangements or a financial order.
Among the causes for this were, but were not limited to the following:
- The courts were becoming more overburdened with cases.
- Many of the instances might have been settled without the need to go to court, and probably should have been.
- The courtroom is not always the ideal venue for resolving family law disputes.
- The government, HMCTS, and the majority of legal practitioners recognise that family mediation, or comparable forms of conflict resolution, is a preferable method of addressing difficulties relating to divorce or separation, as well as disagreements over child custody arrangements.
DO I NEED TO GO TO Mediation Staines?
To file an application with the court, you must demonstrate that you have explored family mediation by attending a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting – referred to as an MIAM. A MIAM is held with a Family Court Mediator who will explain how mediation works, assess its suitability for your case, and address any questions or concerns you may have about Mediation Staines. You may read our comprehensive guide to become an MIAM here.
You may be excluded from attending an MIAM in certain circumstances, such as if you have been a victim of domestic violence and have the necessary documentation, or if a child is in urgent danger.
I RECEIVED COURT DOCUMENTS BUT WAS NOT INVITED TO ATTEND MEDIATION – WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THIS?
This might be because the other party falls inside one of the MIAM exclusions or because they attended an MIAM and either the accredited family mediator or the other party determined that family mediation was not appropriate.
If you have received court forms about financial or child custody agreements, it is critical that you reply to them and appear in court on the scheduled day. Otherwise, a legally binding decision might be taken in your absence. Wherever feasible, you should seek independent legal counsel.
If you choose to proceed with family mediation, you may approach the other party or write to their solicitor. Additionally, you might advise the judge that you wish to address the matter through family mediation. The judge will then decide how to continue with your case.
WHAT IF THE JUDGE DEES THE CASE MEDIATABLE?
If the court believes it would be more beneficial for you both to attempt resolution through mediation, the judge may order the case to be delayed for a few months while you both attempt resolution through Mediation Staines. This direction can occur at any point throughout the proceedings — occasionally, the judge will indicate what they want to order and then ask you to arbitrate the specifics between you.
If a judge directs you to attempt mediation, you are not required to do so – one of the five pillars of family mediation is that it is always voluntary – but the judge will want to know why you did not follow through on their suggestion, and your conduct may be taken into account when determining costs and in the final judgement.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR MY SOLICITOR TO DECIDE THAT MEDIATION IS UNSUITABLE?
No, only an accredited family mediator can determine whether or not mediation is appropriate in your situation. Once they have reached this conclusion, mediation should be avoided unless circumstances have altered since the conclusion was reached. In these instances, you may choose to attend a new MIAM to determine whether Mediation Staines is now appropriate.
Your solicitor can advise you if one of the fifteen Mediation Staines exemptions should apply to your circumstance.
DO I NEED TO RESPOND IF I HAVE BEEN INVITED TO MEDIATION?
Yes, you should always communicate with the mediator or mediation agency that approaches you. The mediator will always remain impartial, regardless of who they have seen first. Generally, the mediator will want to meet with each of you individually before any combined Mediation Staines sessions can take place.
If you do not answer or deny Mediation Staines without a compelling cause, you will often be required to justify your decision to the judge if your case proceeds to court.
IF I DO NOT ATTEND MEDIATION, WILL IT BE HELD AGAINST ME?
Possibly. While Mediation Staines is always optional, your case will almost always involve child custody, a financial order, or both. Consider the following implications for your case:
MEDIATION IN CONNECTION WITH CHILD ARRANGEMENTS ORDERS
Typically, the court will be asked to make a determination on who will care for the child(ren) and when. They may be deciding on a particular topic, such as whether the children may travel abroad for a vacation or which school they will attend.
When considering such instances, the judge will examine a variety of factors. The major consideration will be what is in the child(renbest )’s interests, their safety, and their physical and emotional well-being. While CAFFCASS may interview children believed to be of sufficient age and also provide a report on the parents and their background, the court will make the final determination.
It is critical, therefore, to demonstrate to the judge that you acted appropriately at all times and prioritised the children’s interests. Consider resolving your parenting concerns peacefully between you or through Mediation Staines. This demonstrates to the court that you have attempted to be a responsible person and to resolve matters. The judge may not look favourably on a parent who has obstructed the process by failing to react to requests to negotiate or resolve conflicts peacefully. Even if you believe that is in the best interests of your children, the judge may disagree.
If expenses are considered in a child arrangements order, they are often only given if the opposing party’s behaviour was such that it would be fair and reasonable to do so. Costs are rarely given in child custody proceedings, since the courts do not want to scare families away from pursuing a parenting disagreement in court. However, the judge does have the authority to award costs, and in determining whether to do so (i.e., the opposing party’s legal bills), the court will consider the following:
- Whether a side has prevailed in at least a portion of their argument
- The parties’ actions prior to, during, and following the proceedings
- Whether a party’s assertion or denial of a specific claim or issue was reasonable
- The manner in which a party stated or defended their case, or the manner in which a specific claim or problem was raised or defended
It is the behaviour of parties prior to, during, and after proceedings that may be used against you if you choose not to mediate and the court believes you did not have a solid cause not to.