Can I make my ex-partner go to mediation?
No. Mediation is a voluntary process which is entered into freely by each person. Whilst the law states, a couple should attempt mediation before asking for the court’s assistance, it still remains a voluntary act.
There are exceptions as to why a person may not need to go to mediation and these include situations when there has been a history of domestic violence or when there may be safeguarding issues. Your mediator or a solicitor can advise you on these matters further. The Family Mediation and Counselling Service offers a Pre-Mediation Consultation (To read more Click Here) that will provide you with all the information you need. It will answer any questions you may have and record all the details of your case ready for the mediator to make contact with your ex-partner. The Pre-Mediation Consultation can dramatically speed-up the whole mediation process. If, you are willing to mediate with your ex-partner, your mediator will contact them and invite them to voluntarily attend a MIAM (Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting – Click Here for more details). If they accept, individual MIAMS will be scheduled, one for you and one for your partner and the mediation process can begin.
If your ex-partner refuses mediation, your mediator may advise you to seek an order sanctioned by the courts that will cover childcare arrangements (if applicable) and / or a financial order. If your partner refuses to mediate, your mediator will sign the necessary court forms which will allow you to pursue your claims (For more information Click Here). It is unsure how much leverage such orders hold with the courts but it does demonstrate that, if you attempted to mediate and your ex-partner refuses, you have followed the law and the requests made by the judicial system.
If you would like to know more about the benefits of mediation and how to seek agreement from your ex-partner to participate, call on of our MIAM Advisors on 0330 113 0005 (Local Rate Call) .