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Do I have to use mediation?

No. However, if you are considering applying to court over a family problem, (like how to divide money or property after splitting up or where the children should live,) you will probably need to show the court that you have met with a mediator first and considered mediation in a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). This is because the government thinks, with good reason, it is better to decide these issues between yourselves if you can, rather than the court telling everyone what to do.

In exceptional circumstances you can apply to court without having had a meeting with a mediator first. Such circumstances include:

• You don’t know where the other party is and have no way of contacting them.

• The issue is about a child who is already involved with social services because of concerns over their protection.

• The court application is urgent because someone is in danger.

• Your problem is about money and one or both of you is bankrupt.

If you have any questions about this or any other aspect of mediation, please contact us on 0800 058 4303 or email at and we’d be happy to discuss.


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