the law

Family Justice Reforms 22nd April 2014

The family justice reforms which came into effect on 22nd April 2014 have changed the way applications are now made to the courts.

Courts will no longer make Contact or Residence orders, instead the Courts can make a Child Arrangement Order (setting out where a child lives, who they spend time with etc).

If a person wishes to apply to Court for an order regarding children, they must first attending a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) with a qualified Mediator. There might be exemptions to this.

If a person wishes to make an application to the Court for a financial order, they too must first attend a MIAM.

Attending a MIAM in both cases is now a requirement and it is expected by the Courts. There are certain times when this will not apply so it is best to check with a Mediator or Solicitor.

take the opportunity

"Nearly every time I ask someone if their stressful divorce battle through the courts was worth it, their answer is no. Mediation is a quicker, cheaper and more amicable alternative, particularly where children are concerned."

"Mediation already helps thousands of legally-aided people across England and Wales every year, but I am concerned those funding their own court actions are missing out on the benefits it can bring. Now everyone will have the opportunity to see if it could be a better solution than going straight to court."

Justice Minister, Jonathan Djanogly Feb 2011


  • Mediation is voluntary
  • Mediators are impartial
  • Mediation is confidential
  • Decision making rests with the participants