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Family mediation: The depressingly low take-up

Receipt of information about mediation should be compulsory for all in the family courts, with no exemptions, says Hazel Wright

13 October 2016

In July 2016 the Ministry of Justice released figures for the preliminary mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs), which have to be attended (with very few exemptions) by all who want to use the family courts to resolve disputes on separation over children or money. Of the 20,693 applications in the first quarter of 2016, fewer than half of the applications contained a completed certificate about MIAMs. It is unlikely that all uncompleted forms were from applicants exempt from this certificate (reasons include domestic violence, involvement of Social Services in welfare issues, at least one of the couple lives abroad).

Attendance at mediation should not be compulsory. The volunta...

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