Is my mediation agreement a court order?

We explain how mediation agreements can become court orders.

When a couple get divorced they can use mediation to discuss proposals for settlement both in relation to separating their finances and their future co-parenting plan.

The mediation agreements are without prejudice so that everyone knows they are having a private discussion. However, when proposals about finances have been prepared both parties have the opportunity to obtain legal advice about those proposals. If after advice, the couple are happy to have the proposals formalised, the lawyers (or 1 of them) can prepare a document called a financial consent order.

A financial consent order can be lodged with the court using the online portal and then it will wait in a queue to be approved by a Judge. Once approved, it becomes a legally binding order. A Judge can not make an order until the divorce has reached the stage of Decree Nisi (old court process) or Conditional Order (new court process as from April 2022).

In relation to parenting plans, courts can be asked to make orders but this is rarely necessary if the parties have agreed their co-parenting plan and it is recorded in a document signed by both parties.

Courts are often asked to make orders though if the parties have discussed and agreed issues to do with such issues as change of schools, any change of name or relocation to a different part of the UK or abroad.

Mediation is way couples can reach agreements, stay out of court and reduce costs. Court orders can be created after an agreement has been reached if that is necessary.

Most mediation is conducted online now but meetings can also be face-to-face if a couple would prefer to meet that way. Shuttle mediation is also possible, and lawyers can also attend mediation if appropriate. Mediators who have the right qualification can also meet with children to give them a voice in the process.

If you have any questions about mediation please do email us at hello@familymandm.co.uk or call us on 0800 206 2258, you can also book a free call via the BOOK NOW button on our website – www.familymediationandmentoring.co.uk

 

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