Q: My wife has forced me to sleep in the spare room for eighteen months and now she has moved out with our two young boys. I have just found out that she has attended Mediation, so I presume she is planning to apply for a divorce. I say I presume because she won’t actually speak to me. My brother says I should also attend Mediation, but I really don’t want to. It just feels wrong to me when I don’t want to be divorced from her. Will it be held against me if I don’t go for Mediation, and she applies for a divorce?
A: It is now a legal requirement that anyone applying for a Financial Order or Child Arrangements Order attends a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM) unless specific exemptions apply. It is not a legal requirement for a Respondent to attend a MIAM.
If you do not attend mediation and the case goes to court, the judge or magistrate may ask why you did not attend, but in theory as mediation is an entirely voluntary process this should not reflect badly on you.
It is always advisable to obtain legal advice prior, alongside and following mediation so you can be sure that you are fully aware of your legal position and that you have not entered into an agreement which is unfair to you.
Any ‘agreement’ reached at mediation is without prejudice and is not enforceable and cannot be used against you in the future. Either party can renege on the ‘agreement’ without consequence.
You should first and foremost contact a solicitor to discuss your options.
This question has been answered by Alison Peters, a Partner with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients. Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194