Qualified mediators and senior associates, Elisabeth Howe and Maria Ramon, are able to assess a couple's suitability for mediation, with the authority to sign FM1 forms to permit court applications to be pursued where necessary.

Mediation is currently a voluntary process in which an independent and impartial mediator supports separating couples in the event of relationship breakdown. The process aims to resolve disputes over the division of assets such as the family home and the care of any children and courts now demand couples to have considered mediation by attending a MIAM before court action can proceed.

A MIAM can be conducted either jointly or separately with the parties; if jointly and suitable, the couple can commence their first mediation session immediately following the MIAM. If unsuitable, the mediator will sign the necessary form to enable a party to commence a court application.

Estimated costs, as well as the the impartial, confidential and voluntary nature of mediation will be explained to the parties at the MIAM including the likely number of sessions they will need. The parties will also be screened for domestic abuse and child safety issues.

Lis Howe said: "Our ability to conduct Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings means we're able to streamline the process of separation for couples in dispute. Ending a relationship amicably reduces financial pressure and stress on both parties.

As practising family lawyers we’re very practical in our approach. We can quickly recognise where a case is unsuitable for mediation and the likely impact on the couple we're helping. Where disputes can't be resolved at mediation, individuals are reverted back to their respective legal representatives who will work to a resolution through the courts.

Maria and Lis are both members of Resolution and specialise in all aspects of family breakdown.

For more information

If you have any questions concerning any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact either Elisabeth Howe on 0121 212 7413, elisabeth.howe@anthonycollins.com or Maria Ramon on 0121 214 3509, maria.ramon@anthonycollins.com.