Is Mediation Legally Obligated?
The mediation arrangement is not legally binding in and of itself. If you both agree, the agreements you made can be made into a legally binding order.
A common question is, “What is the point of family mediation if the result is not legally binding?”
All family mediation in the United Kingdom is free of bias. This means you can openly address issues, make deals, and pursue solutions without being legally tied to them if mediation fails and you end up in court. When you reach an agreement, you should document it in a memorandum of understanding. This documents your arrangement, which you can take to your very own mediators if you wish, and instruct a mediator to review the agreement reached for a fixed fee memorandum advice kit.
Lakes Mediation will legally tie any agreement concluded through our service or through other mediation service.
Only the family court has the authority to make a couple’s agreement legally binding. A separation arrangement, which asks the court to make the financial agreement binding if you later divorce, is an exception to the law. A attorney will write these for you, and you will both sign them. Are you perplexed? We are not at all shocked. Family law is notoriously difficult and fraught with ambiguity. This is due to the fact that each family and circumstance is unique, and the law wishes to be flexible in order to represent that.
So, what would you do to legally tie your settlement agreement? Let’s take a look at the alternatives below:
• ORDER OF CHILDREN’S ARRANGEMENTS
A child arrangements order is the only order that can legally bind your parenting strategy. The order will specify when your children should stay and if they will leave, and what will happen throughout holidays, Christmas, as well as other special days. It may also be used to address particular problems, such as where the children will attend school.
Different areas of law govern financial arrangements for children. To apply for a child arrangements order, you must fill out a C100 form and, unless one of mediation exemptions refers to the case, you must attend an MIAM.
A parenting plan will be drafted if you reach an understanding through mediation.
Most parents are willing to reach an understanding without resorting to the courts. A parenting plan can be extremely beneficial in outlining how you and your partner will collaborate to raise your children. If things get out of hand, the parenting plan will be created in court.
A judge can only consent to make the child custody arrangements legally binding if they believe it is in the best interests of the children. Remember that the best parenting strategies are adaptable, allowing you to adjust as your children grow older and their needs and desires alter.
Child custody orders are usually fixed so that they can be followed. This ensures that parents must go to mediation and then back to court any time they try to change the arrangement. However, for certain families, they are crucial in ensuring that the compromise reached is followed through on.
By consent, you will get the parenting plan turned into a legally binding child arrangements order. Lakes Mediation charges a flat fee for this service.
• ORDER OF CONSENT
A financial consent order can only be obtained after you have received the decree nisi as part of a divorce. You cannot obtain a consent order if you are not divorced or if you are not married.
Your financial arrangement will become legally binding as a result of the consent order. When there are no ongoing expenses between you, it can also provide a clean break.
Unlike a child custody order, a financial consent order is something that should be considered with any divorce. It offers financial certainty and ensures that you are not vulnerable to a potential lawsuit by your ex-spouse, even after your divorce has been finalised.
In order for the pension plans to make a transfer under some type of pension sharing arrangement, you will need a consent order. They are also necessary if you want a clean break agreement if you agree to any continuing payments between you, and if you plan to sell a property after the divorce.
Lakes Mediation provides a fixed fee mediation service as well as a solicitor-drafted consent order kit.
• SEPARATION DEED / SEPARATION AGREEMENT
When you are married but do not want to start the divorce process right away, a solicitor will draught a deed of separation for you. It asks the court to consent on the financial conditions if you later divorce. The court will consider this if you have received impartial legal counsel, have access to an open financial statement, and were not forced to sign under duress.
A separation arrangement may also be used for unmarried spouses who have shared assets to divide.
Since there is no need to go to court over a separation agreement, they are typically much faster than a financial consent order. However, if you are already dating, they do not have the same level of protection as a clean break consent order.
Lakes Mediation provides a fixed-fee mediation and separation agreement programme.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO CHANGE MY MIND AFTER SIGNING A MEDIATION AGREEMENT?
Yes, and in certain cases, signing the mediation agreement is not required because it is not legally binding. Many people choose to have their settlement agreement reviewed by a lawyer for a memorandum meaning verification. This will provide you with peace of mind that what you have agreed to is fair, and the solicitor will recommend things you had not considered, such as the capital gains consequences of your agreement.
However, after you have reached a definitive settlement agreement, you must follow through with it. This contributes to your mutual goodwill. In certain cases, the agreement will be produced in court, and the judge will inquire as to why you want to change the arrangement.
Family Mediation is one tool for assisting you in reaching an agreement on parenting and/or financial arrangements. If you’ve reached an agreement, you will agree to have the agreements made legally binding by consent.
This strategy is much less costly than hiring a lawyer to represent you in court, and it gives you complete power over the result. The result will then be legally enforceable. Lakes Mediation is the only family mediation service that does this for a fixed price, allowing you to budget and have assurance about the agreement we helped you achieve.