How do you get an unwilling partner to try Mediation?

October 12, 2021

Why select us?

Aspire Family Mediation supplies family mediation in UK.

We are family members Mediators Association (FMA) and Resolution which are member body of The Family Mediation Council. All our mediators are recognized or working towards accreditation.

We also have expert arbitrators qualified to work straight with children and to monitor the practice of other mediation services. You remain in safe hands.

We comprehend both the law and people.

We work from premises in Hemel Hempstead, Watford, St. Albans, Harpenden and near Banbury but currently our visits are by Zoom.

  • We are authorized MIAMS suppliers (often referred to as mediation awareness see “to start” page to find out more).
  • Co-mediation is rarely offered in Herts without a considerable boost in session costs. There is no increase in session expenses for co-mediation with GLM we simply think it is the best model and want that for all our clients for financing cases.


REFUSE mediation


Mediation is always a voluntary process, although the courts can and will look at the conduct of both celebrations prior to and throughout the court procedures. A fundamental part of this conduct is showing you have acted fairly and tried alternate kinds of dispute resolution, such as family mediation and followed court procedures.

Conduct, including decreasing mediation without a great factor, can be taken into consideration when taking a look at the awarding of expenses and, for financial disagreements, in the department of properties. If you don’t go to mediation, take a look below for more information about what takes place.


Since April 2014 it has actually been a legal requirement to participate in a MIAM to help you consider the advantages of family mediation prior to you can send an application to the court for a kid plans or monetary order.

There reasons for this consisted of, however were not limited to:

  • The courts were becoming overwhelmed with cases
  • Many of the cases could, and probably should, have actually been solved without the requirement to go to court
  • Court is not constantly the best place to fix issues concerning a household matter
  • The government, HMCTS and most attorneys comprehend that family mediation, or similar kinds of resolving conflicts, is a much better method to fix problems on a divorce or separation, or a dispute on kid arrangements.


In order to send an application to the court you need to reveal that you have at least thought about family mediation, by way of participating in a Mediation Details Assessment conference– called a MIAM. A MIAM is held with a family arbitrator who will discuss how mediation works, evaluate whether it appropriates for your case and answer any questions or issues you may have about mediation. You can read out supreme guide to a MIAM here.

Sometimes you might be exempt from participating in a MIAM, for instance if you have been a victim of domestic abuse and have the appropriate proof, or if a child is at imminent threat.


This might be since the other celebration either meets one of the MIAM exemptions or due to the fact that they have participated in a MIAM and either the accredited household mediator or other celebration have decided that family mediation is not appropriate
It is crucial you react to them and go to court on the offered day if you have actually received kinds from the court for monetary or kid plans. Otherwise a choice could be made in your lack, which would be legally binding. You need to take great independent legal advice where possible.

f you wish to go to family mediation, you can approach the other party and suggest this, or write to their solicitor recommending family mediation. You can likewise inform the judge that you would choose to resolve the problem through family mediation. The judge will then make a decision on how your case ought to continue.


If the judge believes it would be much better for you both to attempt to reach a contract through mediation, then the judge can direct the case is adjourned a couple of months whilst you both try and deal with the matters through mediation. This instructions can be at any stage of the procedures– sometimes the judge may give an indication of what they would buy and then ask you to mediate out the specific information in between you.

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


No, just an accredited family arbitrator can decide if mediation is not ideal for your case. Once they have actually made such a choice, mediation ought to not take place, unless the situations have changed because that choice was made. In such cases, you might want to go to a brand-new MIAM to see if mediation is now ideal.

Your lawyer can say whether they believe among the 15 exemptions to mediation should apply to your scenario.


Yes, you must constantly react to the mediation or the arbitrator service who contacts you. The arbitrator will always be neutral and it does not matter who has been seen by them initially. The conciliator will normally wish to see each of you on your own prior to any joint mediation sessions can take place.

If you don’t react or decline mediation without a good factor, you will normally need to explain why you declined mediation to the judge, if your case consequently litigates.


Quite possibly. Whilst mediation is constantly voluntary, under household law, your case will generally be involving child arrangements, a monetary order or both. Take a look listed below on how it can affect your case:


When, the judge will normally be asked to make a decision on with whom the kid( ren) will stayand. They might be making a decision on a particular issue, such as whether the children can go on a holiday overseas, or which school they will participate in.

In choosing such cases, the judge will take into consideration lots of things. The main focus will be on what is in the best interests of the kid( ren), their security and their physical and emotional wellness. Whilst CAFFCASS may speak with the children if they are considered old enough and likewise make a report on the parents and their background, the judge will be the individual making the decision.
It is very important therefore to show the judge that you have acted fairly at all times which you have actually put the needs of the children initially. Thinking about a resolution of your parenting problems agreeably in between you, or through mediation, reveals the court you have tried to be a responsible individual and to sort things out. The judge may not look too kindly on a moms and dad who has sought to frustrate the process, not reacted to invites to mediate or arrange matters out agreeably. Even if you believe that would be in your children’s benefits, the judge might not agree with you.

If the matter of expenses is being took a look at in kid plans order, this will generally just be awarded if the conduct of the other celebration was such that it would be sensible and reasonable to do so. It is unusual that expenses are awarded in kid plans cases, as the courts do not wish to terrify people far from applying to court to solve a parenting disagreement. Nevertheless the judge does have the power to award expenses and in deciding whether to award such expenses (i.e. the legal fees incurred by the other celebration) the court will take a look at:

  • Whether a celebration has actually prospered in part of their case
  • The conduct of celebrations before, during and after procedures
  • Whether it was reasonable for a party to make or contest a particular allegation or concern
  • The method which a celebration made or protected their case, or a particular claims or concern

It is the conduct of parties previously, throughout and after proceedings that determination to jeopardize, mediate and deal with concerns in between you as moms and dads that could be held versus you if you decide not to mediate and the court believe you did not have good reason not to do so.


In financial matters the court has discretion to award expenses to the other party. This would be where the legal costs sustained in the procedures are paid in part or completely by the other party. In many cases there might be an interim expense award and in other cases the judge might make a decision on costs at the final hearing. Whilst there does not have to be an award of expenses in a monetary matter, the crucial factor in choosing whether costs will be granted is the conduct of the parties involved.
A judge will take a look at how the celebrations have acted before and throughout proceedings and check whether court procedures have actually been followed correctly. A crucial element of this for all civil and household cases is whether mediation or other kinds of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) were attempted. They will likewise look at whether the expenses included were reasonable to the amount in dispute.

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


OG V AG [2020] EWFC 52

In this case, the partner was punished financially in the final order for not making a complete financial disclosure, but the better half was also penalised economically for taking a severe negotiating position. The judge said:

” It is very important that I enunciate this concept loud and clear: if, once the financial landscape is clear, you do not openly negotiate fairly, then you will likely suffer a penalty in expenses. This applies whether the case is small or huge, or whether it is being chosen by referral to requirements or sharing”

Being reasonable, making an open financial 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 penalised economically, either in the monetary order, or with paying the other celebration’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 ordered to pay continuous spousal maintenance to his better half which included a figure of 25% of his annual benefit. The spouse appealed and stated there should be an upper cap set on the % benefit.

In the course of his judgment the judge offered a strong ‘guide’ that in his view the right solution 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 celebrations engage in mediation to see if the matter could be fixed consensually and H agreed to pay of the mediation in the first circumstances. On the occasion that the mediation was unsuccessful, the judge directed that he would handle an application by W for a legal costs order, in relation to the appeal.

The mediation did not take place as arrangement could not be reached as to the identity of a proper arbitrator and W appropriately made an application for a legal expenses order.

The judge declined her application, saying in his ruling that the W had been unreasonable in her method to the mediation:.

In her persistence on utilizing a top-drawer and top-price arbitrator.


That her insistence on presence of legal agents at mediation was neither necessary nor reasonable; in my experience this would be unusual and probably unhelpful.

The judge mentioned that there was still time for the mediation. It did not take location and out of this fairly 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 try mediation by the court, you must do so and not attempt to ambush the mediation procedure by demanding legal representation at the mediation– or as in this case, demanding only using a very pricey conciliator when the spouse had actually accepted pay the complete mediation charges.
Similar concepts are applied prior to your case gets to court– you can be punished if you annoy, ignore, ward off or generally prevent the mediation procedure without excellent reason.


  • Not replying to an invitation to mediation.
  • Getting an invitation and denying it had actually been gotten.
  • Scheduling in appointments and after that constantly cancelling them.
  • Demanding an appointment at the weekend or at a date months in the future.
  • Insisting that your solicitor or another person exists at the mediation (you can have somebody in support for your MIAM).
  • Decreasing mediation as you decline to move from your position.
  • Decreasing mediation as you believe the other celebration won’t move from their position.
  • Believing you are 100% right and your case is leak-proof.
  • Not mediating as you do not trust the other party.
  • Not moderating as you truly do not like the other party.
  • You don’t want to remain in the very same space as the other individual (you can do shuttle mediation).
  • Decreasing mediation as you can not get childcare arranged (you would need to get childcare arranged to participate in court).
  • Stipulating conditions on the mediation taking place. If the other party will concur to something ahead of time, ie just moderating.

The message from the family courts is that mediation ought to be tried and participated in in good faith, unless an accredited family arbitrator thinks it is not suitable or among the 15 exemptions uses.


If there has actually been domestic abuse versus you in your relationship, perhaps as one of the exemptions to going to a MIAM is. Such abuse might be physical, psychological or spoken. You need to provide proof of this exemption, which may be an authorities recommendation number, domestic abuse charity letter or note from a physician or other health professional. The full details of evidence required are described on the pertinent court forms– Form A for a financial order and C100 for kid arrangements. You might likewise finish a Kind C1A which will information any events of domestic abuse and is sent to court along with the pertinent application.

You will require to discuss your circumstance with a family arbitrator at a MIAM if you do not have evidence. It may be that they choose mediation is not ideal and sign the court form appropriately.

Some people select to mediate in separate spaces by shuttle bus mediation– which can also be held online, where you do not appear on the very same screen.


When they go on to joint mediation, 90% of Aspire Family Mediation’s clients reach a contract. The nationwide average is 74%– many more people reach an agreement through mediation than don’t. Your ex’s position may be entrenched prior to mediation, however the mediation process helps you to reach and explore solutions agreement, even from positions that were formerly far apart or seemingly unmovable.


You can request for financial disclosure to be completed on a Type E, which is signed off to reveal it is accurate. Purposeful dishonesty on this type can be considered fraud under the Fraud Act 2006 and would perhaps put you in contempt of court. Any contract reached without a full disclosure could be ‘set aside’ at a later date and you would need to start the whole process again. It is likewise likely that you would be penalised by the court for annoying the procedure, were you dishonest in your disclosure.

You can share Forms E through mediation and your solicitor( s) can scrutinise them together with the mediation process.


The mediator will help you both have your say and make your points, whilst helping you focus on the issues to be dealt with. Mediation is not about looking back over the relationship, discussing problems in the past or apportioning blame. It has to do with helping you agree the parenting or monetary plans of your divorce or separation as fairly, amicably and cost-effectively as possible.


Have a look here at our blog site on who pays for mediation. If you are on particular advantages or low income you may be qualified for legal aid. If not, then mediation in the UK costs an average of ? 140 per hour for each celebration. Aspire Family Mediation charge ? 115 per person per hour. You can discover a complete list of expenses here.

If you can not manage mediation and are not qualified for legal help, then you will need to go to court to fix the circumstance, unless you can resolve the circumstance between yourselves.


Whilst it is constantly a voluntary process, the court will desire you to reveal you have tried to fix the concern you are inquiring to make a judgement on in a responsible and reasonable way. To assist this, the law says you must go to a MIAM to think about family mediation. The court have wide variety powers and can guide you to try family mediation, or award costs if you are seen to be frustrating the legal process.

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

Click here for information of how to book in a MIAM for ? 115– you can hold a MIAM anywhere in the world as long as the court jurisdiction remains in England & Wales. You can order a Court MIAM here for ? 99 which consists of the signed court form if you wish to go directly to court.

In order to submit an application to the court you must reveal that you have at least thought about family mediation, by method of participating in a Mediation Information Evaluation conference– called a MIAM. A MIAM is held with a family mediator who will explain how mediation works, assess whether it is suitable for your case and answer any concerns or concerns you may have about mediation. To this end he directed that the parties engage in mediation to see if the matter could be solved consensually and H concurred to bear the costs of the mediation in the first instance. 90% of Aspire Family Mediation’s customers reach a contract when they go on to joint mediation. Your ex’s position may be entrenched prior to mediation, however the mediation process helps you to reach and explore solutions contract, even from positions that were previously far apart or apparently immovable.

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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