What is the success rate of family mediation?
Clients often ask us, ‘how successful is family mediation’ when it comes to resolving the issues most important to them. Usually these issues will surround children, property and finances, some will be relatively straightforward whereas others may be more complicated to resolve.
The Family Mediation Council, the controlling body for all family mediators in the UK recently surveyed mediators to answer this very question, releasing their results at the start of 2020.
The results are very encouraging to those who wish to navigate a route to resolution that is more cost effective than family solicitors. Family mediation is also generally quicker than taking a case to family courts and is a route that gives those involved a say in the decision-making process and the ability to involve their children in the process if they like.
Family mediation is also a process that can be funded in its entirety for those that qualify for legal aid, something that currently is not available to fund cases going to family solicitors or family courts.
(click here to find out more about legal aid and family mediation and to see if you qualify)
Initial Assessments (Mediation Information Assessment Meeting, or ‘MIAM’ for short)
.A MIAM is a short meeting that provides information about mediation as a way of resolving disputes. A MIAM is conducted by a trained and accredited mediator who will assess whether mediation is appropriate in the circumstances. Each person involved (usually two people) must be assessed to establish whether or not their situation is suitable for mediation.
There are very few reasons why a case would not be suitable, however, prior domestic violence may prevent a case proceeding. Other situations, such as a client feeling too nervous or apprehensive to share a room with a previous partner can be accommodated by using two mediation rooms and the mediator ‘shuttling’ between both clients.
- Only 3% of MIAMs were judged unsuitable for mediation as a result of domestic abuse
- 73% of MIAMs converted to mediation when both parties attended the assessment
How many mediations took place last year?
- Approximately 37,000 mediations were conducted by registered family mediators over the 12 month period.
What sort of mediation is conducted?
There are three main areas of mediation and each case is tailored to fit the issues that clients wish to resolve.
- 46% of cases involved only issues surrounding children (custody, contact, a co-parenting plan)
- 25% of cases involved only issues surrounding property and finances
- 29% of cases involved issues surrounding children, property and finances
The results of mediation over the past 12 months are heartening. Resolving issues such as the children, property and finances of a previous relationship can be extremely demanding upon those involved and may on occasion break down. In many cases, those who have unsuccessfully attempted mediation will often re-engage once they have investigated the alternatives.
Last year saw the following successes:
- 70% of cases resulted in whole or partial agreement
- 50% of people reached a complete, written agreement
- 44% of cases involved at least one client who was legally aided.