Richard Perrins - Partner, Coles Miller

Family Mediation Solicitors Are Your First Step27th Sep 2013

Mediation is supposed to be attempted by separated couples contemplating how to divide their finances and/or arrange childcare, unless in very limited circumstances.Richard Perrins - Partner, Coles Miller

That has been the rule since April 2011.

In a bid to stem the tide of cases filling the divorce courts, the government suggested that Mediation Information Assessment Meetings (MIAMS) should be mandatory.

But it seems that not everyone read the memo. Some separating couples have been skipping the MIAM and instructing their divorce lawyers to go straight to court.

So now the government is cracking down and making MIAMs compulsory. This will be part of the Children and Families Bill that is expected to receive the Royal Assent next year.

But mediation does not just reduce the burden on the taxpayer – it is good common sense that can save separated couples significant sums of money in legal fees.

Mediation is generally much cheaper then proceeding down the court route and/or instructing solicitors to negotiate for them.

Across the UK, there have been cases where separated couples spent so long fighting over the assets that they racked up huge legal bills – sometimes in excess of the value of the assets they were fighting over.

They were so caught up in the acrimony that they squandered the very cash they were seeking to safeguard.

In one case, the sum lost to legal fees was so large that the judge said the couple had effectively committed “financial suicide”.

At Coles Miller we strongly recommend mediation as a way of helping to cut the financial and emotional cost of divorce.

For expert, professional and sympathetic help, please contact our family team on 01202 673011

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