As the New Year begins, unfortunately it can be a time when the stresses and strains within families have reached breaking point, leading to separation and / or divorce. If this is happening to you, Cambridge Family Mediation Service is here to help.
As from Monday 8 January 2018 there are new court forms that must be used if you wish to make an application to the court in relation to issues concerning:
- Arrangements for children on separation / divorce
- Finance and property matters on separation / divorce
The new forms can be found and downloaded through the HMCTS form finder service at www.justice.gov.uk/forms/hmcts as from Monday 8 January 2018.
It is important to note that the law has changed, and you are now legally required to consider mediation before applying to the family court to resolve a dispute about your children or finances. This means that before submitting your application, you must attend a Mediation and Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to find out about mediation and see if mediators can help you sort out arrangements for the future.
In special circumstances – such as where domestic violence is involved – you may not need to attend a MIAM. However, you will be asked to provide the judge with evidence (such as a police report to prove domestic violence has taken place) and should bring it to the first hearing.
Who are mediators and what do they do?
Mediators are trained professionals who can help you and the other person involved work out an agreement without having to go to court about issues such as arrangements for children, financial arrangements and dividing up property. Here at Cambridge Family Mediation Service, all of our mediators are highly experienced in children and financial matters and are fully accredited by the Family Mediation Council.
How can mediation help?
Mediation gives you more control over what happens, and is usually less stressful and cheaper than going to court. It can also be quicker and less upsetting for you and your children. In the MIAM, you will be told about other options to resolve your dispute and about services that can provide you with help and support.
Where can I find a mediator or more information?
At Cambridge Family Mediation Service, we are able to provide mediation at our offices at Essex House, 71 Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1AB. Please telephone us on 01223 576308, or fill in our contact form to arrange an appointment for a MIAM.
You can also search for a mediator and find more information about mediation (and other sources of help) using this website: www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/.
Do I have to pay for the MIAM?
The MIAM is free of charge if you or the other person involved (the other party) qualifies for legal aid. To find out if you qualify visit: www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid.
If you do not qualify for legal aid, Cambridge Family Mediation Service charges £109 (inclusive of VAT) for the MIAM, which will last up to one hour. We can also offer you a discounted rate for attendance at a Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP), see below.
Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP)
If you attend a MIAM at Cambridge Family Mediation Service, we can also offer you a discount on attendance at our highly-acclaimed Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP) – a one-off 4-hour workshop that you attend, along with 6 to 10 other parents in a similar situation. NB You ex would attend a separate course. The full price for this is £75 per person, but for those clients who attend a MIAM with us, we can offer the course at a discounted price of £50 per person (so the total price to pay would be £109 for the MIAM plus £50 for the SPIP = £159 per person).
The course gives you lots of useful information about how best to support your children as you go through separation and divorce. The presenters help you to look at ways to improve communication between you and the other parent, and help you to understand aspects of the emotional roller-coaster that you and your children may be experiencing at this difficult time.
We look forward to hearing from you if you feel that you would benefit from any of our services:-
Telephone: 01223 576308
Address: Cambridge Family Mediation Service, Essex House, 71 Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1AB