Divorcing couples can’t always see eye to eye, especially when discussing how to separate their acquired wealth. However, if negotiation isn’t working out, rather than moving straight to Court by issuing Financial Proceedings, the Court insist that mediation is considered. In fact, even if Court proceedings have been issued, the Court has a duty to consider at every stage of the proceedings whether the particular case is suitable for mediation. This is provided for in the Family Procedure Rules (Rule 3.3). If a party decides not to engage in mediation and refuses to do so, the Court may penalise them by awarding costs against them in proceedings. Mediation can be quick to set up and can be used in a variety of cases, in order to attempt to facilitate settlement or agreement. Clearly, the sooner the agreement is reached, the sooner life returns to normal for those involved and their ever increasing legal fees will increase no more. A qualified and experienced mediator can be instructed, who can assist the parties in reaching an agreement by helping them to see things from the other persons perspective, in a focussed way with a common sense approach. Mediation can help prevent a particular problem from escalating. In Family law matters, the Court requests that the parties attempt to mediate prior to the issuing of proceedings, unless one of the few exceptions apply. Parties are invited to attend an initial Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM), either separately or together, to discuss their issues with the mediator. If both parties agree to continue, sessions will begin whereby both parties will sit together with their mediator in an attempt to resolve their difficulties. Mediation can be used to resolve issues with the parties’ children, how finances and property will be separated upon divorce or can deal with all issues at the same time. Once an agreement has been reached, this can be put into a legally binding format after the mediation process. If you require legal advice in respect of divorce proceedings, financial matters or child care issues, contact Freeman Jones Solicitors in Chester and we can assist you. We offer all clients a FREE INITIAL 30 MINUTE CONSULTATION. Contact us on 01244 506 444 to arrange to meet with one of our lawyers.