From April divorcing couples will be required to attend a Mediation Assessment meeting prior to being able to issue a Court Application relating to Matrimonial Finances or Children.
The Mediator will assess whether Mediation is suitable. There will be limited exemptions to being forced to attend. Details not yet released.
Which Mediators are able to carry out these assessments is still to be announced.
In my experience Court is a place of last resort and a lot of people have already Mediated unsuccessfully and spent a lot of time negotiating either direct or via solicitors.
Is this planned? Another rushed piece of legislation like the Dangerous Dogs Act?
Whenever I think of this I think of HIPS – a Government venture to offer a simple solution to a complex problem – gazumping. Well both HIPS and gazumping have disappeared for now. Lots of people made lots of money training others to become HIP providers. There are a lot of Mediation Training Courses available. My advice to anyone thinking of becoming a Mediator is…
don’t give up the day job!