Family law mediator and collaborative law solicitor Janet Tresman at Altermans Law in Finchley advises, “if you do later make an application to the court, you will be asked to submit paperwork confirming whether or not you have attended a mediation assessment meeting, (MIAMS) or mediation.”

When you have taken the difficult step of deciding to separate or divorce, working out your future arrangements for children, property, maintenance payments and shared business interests can lead to a great deal of anguish.

If you have not come to an agreement by yourselves, it may well be in your interests to consider the alternate avenues before asking the court to help you.

Mediation is a route that many divorcing couples find beneficial.  An independent mediator, like Janet Tresman, will meet with you and your spouse, and together you will explore possible solutions to any disputes that you may have in a safe environment, in which the discussions remain confidential.  Mediators may or may not be qualified solicitors.

The benefit of mediation is that you and your spouse can choose who you wish to mediate for you, and which issues you want to mediate.  For example, if you have agreed the finances, but need help with agreeing contact arrangements for the children, mediation can be confined to that topic.

Janet will initially ask to meet you individually to discuss your case, although you can meet with her together. You will then have a series of mediation sessions together to try to resolve your dispute.  Janet will always advise you both to take your own independent legal advice alongside your mediation sessions.

In mediation, no agreement is binding upon you unless it is an interim arrangement for example, for maintenance or contact with the children. You will leave the mediation with proposals that the mediator will prepare a memorandum of understanding, for you to take to your own respective solicitors. They will then prepare a draft order and other prescribed documents for the court to ratify.  To approve the order the court will check that the deal you have reached is fair to both of you according to English Law, but will accept that compromises may have been made.

In terms of the time-frame, mediation sessions can be booked at your convenience, and therefore the process can take place at the pace with which you are both comfortable.

If you would like more information about using mediation or collaborative practice in divorce or on separation, contact Janet Tresman, family law consultant at Altermans Law, for a confidential discussion on 0208 346 1777 or email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Janet is a highly experienced family mediator and collaborative family law solicitor, representing high net worth individuals. She is a long standing member of Resolution and has served as a deputy district judge. Janet delivers a first class service in all aspects of family law, with minimum court intervention.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.