Today sees the implementation of some of the most significant changes to family law in decades. Areas affected include divorce, arrangements for children, adoption and care proceedings. Overall there will be a single family court – so no more of the two tier Family Proceedings Court and County Court system.
Over the coming weeks we will be blogging about these developments and how they could affect you.
One of the most important changes is that anyone wishing to make certain kinds of application to the family court will have to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). For instance, a parent wanting to apply to court for a decision about where a child should live will first have to attend a MIAM to consider whether mediation could be a more positive way of resolving the issue.
Mediation is a non-confrontational, cost- effective way to solve the challenges of family breakdown without going through court. It facilitates discussion as a way to enable former partners to sort out the issues they face during a separation, and enables them to retain control of the outcome, whilst putting the wellbeing of any children first.
MIAMs are free of charge to people who are eligible for Legal Aid and otherwise charged at a fixed fee of £100 inclusive of VAT.