The Ministry of Justice has launched a new version of the FM1 Family Mediation and Assessment Form.
These forms must be completed by anyone who is considering going to court to resolve financial or child contact and residence issues after a divorce or separation. Under rules brought in April last year, everyone going to court for family issues must sit down with a trained mediator first and consider whether the dispute could resolved through mediation. These meetings are referred to as Mediation Information Assessment Meetings (MIAMs).
If the person planning to go to court still decides to do so after the MIAM, they need to complete the FM1 form to show that they have considered mediation. The person themselves may complete the form, or their legal representative may do so on their behalf. The form will need to state that , mediation was felt to not be suitable, or an exemption applied.
Amongst other changes the redesigned form now contains notes and information on mediation aimed at people who do not have a solicitor or other legal representative.
The new form is available on the Ministry of Justice Form Finder.
Here at Stowe Family Law, we offer a full range of mediation and alternative dispute resolution services from all four of our offices. Stowe Family Law Settlements LLP is operated wholly independently of our legal practice and is authorised to conduct MIAMs. Contact us today for more information.
Acting Head of the Family Division Mr Justice Holman later wrote to all family judges and magistrates, reminding them of the importance of the FM1 form and further encouraging the judiciary to actively consider whether mediation would be appropriate in relevant cases.