Combating for Child Custody between Unmarried Parents

Welcome to the Aspire Family Mediation

Are you:

  • looking for a cost effective service to your separation/divorce/children/ employment/civil matters
  • trying to avoid the cost and tension of going to court
  • looking to fix disputes without big legal costs and increased acrimony?

No matter what your issue, the opportunities are that you will benefit from mediating your issues instead of spend months and possibly years in the court arena. There is now a requirement to go to a mediation session before providing applications for a Financial Solution, or applications in relation to kids matters. There are exceptions to this requirement, which can be talked about with your solicitor or by calling us totally free on 01908 966008

Who can see favorable arise from mediation?

  • Grandparents
  • Former Cohabitants
  • Married Couples
  • Civil Partners
  • Single couples
  • Cohabiting couples
  • Those involved in intergenerational disagreements, eg: grandparents/parents/children
  • Those involved in civil court procedures or thinking about beginning civil court proceedings

REFUSE mediation


Mediation is always a voluntary procedure, although the courts can and will look at the conduct of both celebrations prior to and during the court proceedings. A vital part of this conduct is revealing you have acted fairly and attempted alternate kinds of conflict resolution, such as family mediation and followed court procedures.

Conduct, consisting of decreasing mediation without an excellent reason, can be taken into account when taking a look at the awarding of costs and, for financial disputes, in the department of possessions. Take a look below for more details about what occurs if you don’t go to mediation.


Considering that April 2014 it has actually been a legal requirement to participate in a MIAM to help you think about the advantages of family mediation prior to you can submit an application to the court for a kid arrangements or financial order.

There reasons for this consisted of, but were not restricted to:

  • The courts were ending up being overwhelmed with cases
  • Much of the cases could, and probably should, have been solved without the need to go to court
  • Court is not constantly the very best location to resolve problems concerning a household matter
  • The government, HMCTS and most attorneys comprehend that family mediation, or comparable forms of solving disagreements, is a much better method to resolve problems on a divorce or separation, or an argument on kid arrangements.


In order to send an application to the court you need to show that you have at least considered family mediation, by way of participating in a Mediation Info Evaluation conference– called a MIAM. A MIAM is accepted a family mediator who will explain how mediation works, evaluate whether it appropriates for your case and answer any concerns or concerns you might have about mediation. You can read out supreme guide to a MIAM here.

In many cases you might be exempt from going to a MIAM, for instance if you have actually been a victim of domestic abuse and have the relevant proof, or if a child is at impending threat.


This might be because the other celebration either satisfies one of the MIAM exemptions or because they have actually attended a MIAM and either the recognized household arbitrator or other party have actually chosen that family mediation is not ideal
If you have actually received forms from the court for financial or child plans, it is necessary you respond to them and go to court on the offered day. Otherwise a decision could be made in your absence, which would be legally binding. You need to take good independent legal advice where possible.

f you wish to go to family mediation, you can approach the other celebration and recommend this, or write to their solicitor recommending family mediation. You can likewise notify the judge that you would prefer to deal with the problem through family mediation. The judge will then decide on how your case need to proceed.


If the judge believes it would be much better for you both to attempt to reach an arrangement through mediation, then the judge can direct the case is adjourned a couple of months whilst you both try and resolve the matters through mediation. This direction can be at any stage of the proceedings– often the judge might offer an indication of what they would order and then ask you to moderate out the specific information in between you.

If you are directed to try mediation by a judge, you still do not need to do it– among the 5 pillars of family mediation is that it is always voluntary– but the judge would wish to know why you have actually refrained from doing as they recommended and your conduct might be considered when it concerns granting expenses and in the final judgement


No, just a certified household arbitrator can choose if mediation is not ideal for your case. Once they have made such a decision, mediation ought to not take place, unless the scenarios have changed since that decision was made. In such cases, you might want to participate in a brand-new MIAM to see if mediation is now suitable.

Your lawyer can say whether they think one of the 15 exemptions to mediation need to apply to your situation.


Yes, you ought to constantly respond to the mediation or the conciliator service who contacts you. The arbitrator will constantly be neutral and it does not matter who has been seen by them. The arbitrator will generally want to see each of you by yourself before any joint mediation sessions can happen.

If you don’t react or decrease mediation without a great reason, you will generally need to explain why you decreased mediation to the judge, if your case subsequently goes to court.


Rather possibly. Whilst mediation is always voluntary, under household law, your case will normally be including kid arrangements, a financial order or both. Have a look listed below on how it can impact your case:


The judge will generally be asked to decide on with whom the child( ren) will stayand when. They may be making a decision on a specific concern, such as whether the kids can go on a vacation overseas, or which school they will go to.

In deciding such cases, the judge will think about lots of things. The main focus will be on what is in the best interests of the kid( ren), their security and their psychological and physical health and wellbeing. Whilst CAFFCASS might talk to the children if they are considered old enough and likewise make a report on the moms and dads and their background, the judge will be the individual making the final decision.
It is essential therefore to show the judge that you have acted fairly at all times and that you have put the requirements of the children. Thinking about a resolution of your parenting problems amicably between you, or through mediation, reveals the court you have actually attempted to be an accountable individual and to arrange things out. The judge may not look too kindly on a parent who has actually looked for to frustrate the procedure, not reacted to invites to moderate or sort matters out amicably. Even if you think that would remain in your children’s best interests, the judge might not agree with you.

If the matter of expenses is being took a look at in child plans order, this will normally only be awarded if the conduct of the other party was such that it would be reasonable and reasonable to do so. It is uncommon that costs are granted in kid plans cases, as the courts do not wish to frighten people away from applying to court to resolve a parenting dispute. The judge does have the power to award expenses and in choosing whether to award such expenses (i.e. the legal fees sustained by the other celebration) the court will look at:

  • Whether a party has been successful in part of their case
  • The conduct of celebrations before, throughout and after procedures
  • Whether it was reasonable for a party to make or object to a specific claims or concern
  • The way in which a party made or protected their case, or a specific accusation or issue

It is the conduct of celebrations previously, during and after proceedings that willingness to compromise, moderate and fix concerns in between you as moms and dads that could be held against you if you choose not to moderate and the court think you did not have great factor not to do so.


In monetary matters the court has discretion to award expenses to the other party. This would be where the legal fees sustained in the procedures are paid in part or in full by the other party. Sometimes there might be an interim expense award and in other cases the judge may decide on expenses at the final hearing. Whilst there does not have to be an award of costs in a financial matter, the key factor in deciding whether costs will be awarded is the conduct of the celebrations involved.
A judge will take a look at how the celebrations have actually acted prior to and during procedures and check whether court protocols have actually been followed correctly. A crucial aspect of this for all civil and family cases is whether mediation or other kinds of alternative disagreement resolution (ADR) were attempted. They will likewise look at whether the costs involved were reasonable to the amount in dispute.

Have a look at some examples of where conduct around mediation made an impact on the awarding of costs of decision made by the judge:


OG V AG [2020] EWFC 52

In this case, the other half was punished financially in the last order for not making a full monetary disclosure, but the wife was also penalised financially for taking a severe negotiating position. The judge said:

” It is essential that I proclaim this concept clear and loud: if, once the monetary landscape is clear, you do not freely negotiate reasonably, then you will likely suffer a penalty in costs. This uses whether the case is huge or small, or whether it is being decided by referral to requirements or sharing”

Being reasonable, making an open monetary disclosure and trying methods of alternative dispute resolution– such as family mediation– are all behaviours that the court will expect you to demonstrate. And you may be punished economically, either in the financial order, or with paying the other party’s legal costs, if you do not.


H V W [2013] EWHC 4105 (FAM).

The spouse in this case was a director of a bank and was purchased to pay continuous spousal upkeep to his better half which included a figure of 25% of his annual benefit. The partner stated and appealed there ought to be an upper cap set on the % perk.

In the course of his judgment the judge gave a strong ‘steer’ that in his view the ideal service was for there to be a cap on the share received by W on the H’s bonus. To this end he directed that the parties engage in mediation to see if the matter could be fixed consensually and H agreed to bear the costs of the mediation in the first circumstances. On the occasion that the mediation was unsuccessful, the judge directed that he would deal with an application by W for a legal expenses order, in relation to the appeal.

The mediation did not occur as contract could not be reached regarding the identity of a proper conciliator and W accordingly made an application for a legal costs order.

The judge refused her application, saying in his ruling that the W had actually been unreasonable in her approach to the mediation:.

to start with in her persistence on using a top-price and top-drawer mediator.


second of all that her insistence on attendance of legal agents at mediation was affordable nor neither necessary; in my experience this would be unusual and perhaps unhelpful.

The judge mentioned that there was still time for the mediation. Sadly it did not take place and out of this reasonably modest matrimonial pot, the spouse was purchased to pay ? 48,000 in legal expenses for both celebrations for the appeal.

The lesson from this is very clear– if you are directed to attempt mediation by the court, you ought to do so and not attempt to ambuscade the mediation process by insisting on legal representation at the mediation– or as in this case, insisting on just using an incredibly pricey mediator when the hubby had actually consented to pay the complete mediation costs.
Comparable principles are applied prior to your case gets to court– you can be punished if you annoy, neglect, prevent or usually prevent the mediation process without excellent factor.


  • Not responding to an invite to mediation.
  • Receiving an invite and denying it had been gotten.
  • Scheduling in visits and then constantly cancelling them.
  • Insisting on a visit at the weekend or at a date months in the future.
  • Insisting that your lawyer or another individual exists at the mediation (you can have somebody in support for your MIAM).
  • Declining mediation as you refuse to move from your position.
  • Declining mediation as you think the other celebration won’t move from their position.
  • Thinking you are 100% right and your case is watertight.
  • Not mediating as you do not rely on the other celebration.
  • Not moderating as you actually dislike the other celebration.
  • You don’t want to remain in the exact same space as the other person (you can do shuttle bus mediation).
  • Declining mediation as you can not get child care organised (you would need to get child care organized to participate in court).
  • Stating conditions on the mediation taking place. If the other party will concur to something ahead of time, ie only moderating.

The message from the family courts is that mediation should be tried and entered into in good faith, unless an accredited household mediator believes it is not appropriate or one of the 15 exemptions applies.


If there has been domestic abuse against you in your relationship, possibly as one of the exemptions to going to a MIAM is. Such abuse might be physical, psychological or verbal. You need to offer proof of this exemption, which may be a police recommendation number, domestic abuse charity letter or note from a physician or other health expert. The complete information of evidence needed are described on the appropriate court kinds– Form A for a monetary order and C100 for kid plans. You may also finish a Kind C1A which will detail any occurrences of domestic abuse and is sent to court along with the pertinent application.

If you do not have evidence, you will need to discuss your scenario with a household conciliator at a MIAM. It might be that they decide mediation is not suitable and sign the court type accordingly.

Some individuals pick to mediate in different spaces by shuttle bus mediation– which can likewise be held online, where you do not appear on the same screen.


When they go on to joint mediation, 90% of Aspire Family Mediation’s customers reach a contract. The nationwide average is 74%– many more individuals reach a contract through mediation than don’t. Your ex’s position may be entrenched prior to mediation, however the mediation procedure assists you to reach and check out options contract, even from positions that were previously far apart or apparently stationary.


You can ask for monetary disclosure to be finished on a Form E, which is signed off to reveal it is precise. Purposeful dishonesty on this form can be considered scams under the Scams Act 2006 and would perhaps put you in contempt of court. Any arrangement reached without a complete disclosure could be ‘set aside’ at a later date and you would need to begin the entire procedure again. It is also most likely that you would be penalised by the court for frustrating the procedure, were you dishonest in your disclosure.

You can share Kinds E through mediation and your solicitor( s) can scrutinise them alongside the mediation procedure.


The arbitrator will assist you both have your say and make your points, whilst helping you focus on the problems to be dealt with. Mediation is not about recalling over the relationship, talking about concerns in the past or assigning blame. It has to do with assisting you agree the parenting or monetary arrangements of your divorce or separation as fairly, agreeably and cost-effectively as possible.


Have a look here at our blog on who pays for mediation. If not, then mediation in the UK costs an average of ? 140 per hour for each celebration.

If you can not afford mediation and are not qualified for legal aid, then you will need to go to court to solve the situation, unless you can fix the situation between yourselves.


Whilst it is constantly a voluntary procedure, the court will desire you to reveal you have actually tried to deal with the issue you are asking to make a judgement on in a accountable and affordable manner. To assist this, the law says you need to attend a MIAM to consider family mediation in most cases. The court have wide ranging powers and can guide you to try family mediation, or award costs if you are seen to be annoying the legal process.

If 90% of customers go on to reach a contract and that contract can be reached with less stress, less cost and far quicker than going to court– why would you not want to attempt family mediation?

Click here for details of how to book in a MIAM for ? 115– you can hold a MIAM throughout the world as long as the court jurisdiction is in England & Wales. If you want to go straight to court, you can buy a Court MIAM here for ? 99 that includes the signed court type.

In order to send an application to the court you must reveal that you have at least thought about family mediation, by method of attending a Mediation Information Evaluation conference– called a MIAM. A MIAM is held with a family conciliator who will describe how mediation works, evaluate whether it is suitable for your case and answer any issues or concerns you might have about mediation. To this end he directed that the celebrations engage in mediation to see if the matter could be resolved consensually and H agreed to bear the costs of the mediation in the first circumstances. 90% of Aspire Family Mediation’s clients reach a contract when they go on to joint mediation. Your ex’s position might be entrenched prior to mediation, however the mediation procedure helps you to explore services and reach contract, even from positions that were formerly far apart or seemingly stationary.

About Mediation (WIKIPEDIA)

Mediation is a structured, interactive process where an impartial third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process. Mediation is a “party-centered” process in that it is focused primarily upon the needs, rights, and interests of the parties. The mediator uses a wide variety of techniques to guide the process in a constructive direction and to help the parties find their optimal solution. A mediator is facilitative in that she/he manages the interaction between parties and facilitates open communication. Mediation is also evaluative in that the mediator analyzes issues and relevant norms (“reality-testing”), while refraining from providing prescriptive advice to the parties (e.g., “You should do…”).

Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community, and family matters.

The term mediation broadly refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach an agreement. More specifically, mediation has a structure, timetable, and dynamics that “ordinary” negotiation lacks. The process is private and confidential, possibly enforced by law. Participation is typically voluntary. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates rather than directs the process. Mediation is becoming a more peaceful and internationally accepted solution to end the conflict. Mediation can be used to resolve disputes of any magnitude.

The term mediation, however, due to language as well as national legal standards and regulations is not identical in content in all countries but rather has specific connotations, and there are some differences between Anglo-Saxon definitions and other countries, especially countries with a civil, statutory law tradition.

Mediators use various techniques to open, or improve, dialogue and empathy between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. Much depends on the mediator’s skill and training. As the practice gained popularity, training programs, certifications, and licensing followed, which produced trained and professional mediators committed to the discipline.

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