Because mediation is so successful at resolving disputes quickly and economically, the courts will usually encourage you to try mediation first.
For disputes about children or property and finance matters, the Family Court now requires that anyone applying to court attends a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) with an accredited Family Mediator to determine if mediation may be suitable, unless they can prove that they are exempt.
A judge can delay a civil or family case which has been started at court to allow time to try settlement using mediation. A judge can also order a person to explain to the court why they were not willing to mediate and order anyone who has unreasonably refused to try mediation to pay a costs penalty.
If a case has started, but you think mediation might help, get in touch for some expert advice.