There can be a fair bit of confusion surrounding Mediation and what is a legal requirement. Here, I answer the most common questions, but please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any queries.
Is Mediation legally binding?
Agreements reached through Mediation are not legally binding, but the process is conducted through a legal framework. Once Mediation is complete a Memorandum of Understanding is drawn up that will then be sent to your lawyer. They will check through the Memorandum, raise any queries and use it as an outline to form a court Consent Order that will legally bind what was agreed at Mediation.
Is Mediation a legal requirement?
Since 6 April 2011, if you wish to start family Court proceedings in relation to divorce, child or financial arrangements, it is now a legal requirement that you meet with a Mediator first to explore Mediation or other out of court options. The Mediator will then make an assessment as to whether your case is suitable for Mediation.
Is Mediation preferable to Court action?
Solicitors have an obligation to do the best for their client – regardless of the outcome for the other party. In Family Law this may not always be the best outcome for all concerned – and the knock-on effect can have huge ramifications towards family life.
This is why the government are backing Mediation and why many law firms including my firm will now lean towards collaborative law that respects the process of Mediation.
Do you choose a lawyer or mediator?
Mediation works when both parties are willing to take part. If this is not your situation then it may be that you need to start the legal process instead. If in doubt – contact me
Can your lawyer also be your mediator?
No. A mediator has to be impartial
How Mortlake Law & Mediation can help
I can act as your Mediator provided I have not started any legal consultation with you.
If I am already acting as your lawyer, then as a member of the Family Mediators Association, I can refer a fellow accredited insured mediator for you.
Likewise if you appoint me as your mediator, I can recommend a fellow lawyer from my established network to act for you.
For further clarification telephone 020 8133 0153 or complete the contact form below.