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Is mediation always necessary before contact order

  • Jenna29
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09 May 12 #329537 by Jenna29
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My partner is finally applying for a contact order so that he can restore contact with his children. I know from going through the process myself that mediation is encouraged first but my partner cannot afford to pay for the standard three mediation sessions (much less does he want to wait the 18 weeks mediation would take for his wife to possibly agree for him to see the kids)and as it is very likely that his wife would just use mediation to stall things, he would like to go straight to a first hearing. Would he be frowned upon if he turned down mediation?

  • Fiona
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09 May 12 #329541 by Fiona
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There is now a requirement that apart from a few exceptional cases parents go to a Mediation information & Assessment Meeting to find out if mediation would be appropriate and in some cases attend parenting information classes before the courts will first hear a case.

Your partner could make an application to get the ball rolling and organise the MIAM in the meantime whist waiting for the first hearing. If parents go to the first hearing without attending a MIAM the court may refer them back and that would prolong the case.

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09 May 12 #329545 by Jenna29
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Would he have to pay for the MIAM meeting? The problem is his wife will say she really wants to go to mediation; however, this is because she has said she will do everything in her power to cost him money and prolong the process rather than to solve things amicably. Therefore he knows that mediation is a waste of time and he can''t afford it, but he doesn''t want to appear as unreasonable.

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09 May 12 #329546 by Fiona
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There is a fee for MIAM £90- £130 as a rough guide, but if your partner is eligible legal aid could cover the cost. IT''s cheaper if both parties attend together rather than separately.

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09 May 12 #329549 by Jenna29
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Thanks for your response. He doesn''t qualify for legal aid but his wife does. In which case, if she says she wants to attend seperately will it be her legal aid that covers it or will he have to pay for her to attend? If after that meeting he says he wishes to proceed straight to court, would that be likely to be accepted or would they be made to try mediation first?

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