Can you still use mediation if you are in court?
If you are involved in court proceedings you can still consider mediation, maybe with your lawyer coming along to support you.
If by using mediation you can reach an agreement the court process will come to an end.
Sometimes, it is necessary to start court proceedings about the financial issues to be resolved as part of sorting out a divorce or separation. This might be because someone won’t provide financial disclosure or is moving money or maybe urgent maintenance is required whilst a case is being dealt with.
However, just because a court process has started, it doesn’t mean that a couple can’t use mediation to try and reach an agreement.
Mediation can provide a good opportunity to see if an agreement can be reached and will significantly reduce the legal fees and avoid the delays that exist with a court timetable.
A good example of using mediation in tandem with court is where one spouse won’t provide certain financial information. At a first court hearing a Judge will make an order about everything that needs to be provided. After that order has been complied with everyone should have the necessary information to start negotiating a settlement.
We are often asked to mediate in this situation because if an agreement can be reached the second court hearing, called a Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing (FDR), can be avoided. The lawyers prepare a Financial Consent Order and it is filed with the Judge for approval. Once approved, the court process ends.
We can bring a couple together by using online meetings to keep travel costs to a minimum and reduce the anxiety and stress of attending court.
Or, where appropriate, a couple can meet with us with their lawyers and we book half a day or a whole day to see if an agreement can be reached. Where lawyers are involved, this is called hybrid lawyer assisted mediation. If an agreement can’t be reached, then the court process continues but there is a high success rate with these meetings.
If a couple are in court about their children then mediation can be used in the same way. If an agreement can be reached a consent order can be prepared and filed with the Judge and once approved the court process will come to an end.
The court process is a very long one and it is expensive. Mediation is a way of seeing whether an agreement can be reached whilst still leaving the court timetable running in the background.
If you would like to know more about the mediation process and how it might be able to help you book a free call on our website www.familymediationandmentoring.co.uk or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 206 2258.