It is sometimes difficult to know what is or is not required of you when it comes to Court proceedings concerning your family. A common question is “Do I have to attend mediation before going to Court?”.
In short, the answer is no, despite what you may have read in the press. Mediation is voluntary.
However, before you can issue a court application, either in respect of your children, or matrimonial financial matters, you are expected to meet with a mediator to discuss whether mediation could be a suitable alternative. This meeting is known as a MIAM.
The family court and judges are keen for parties to make some attempt to resolve disputes without the need for court intervention. For this reason, there is a chance that you could be ordered to pay court costs if you have failed to attend a MIAM. Alternatively your court application could be adjourned while you attempt mediation.