In the first session known as a MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting) you will have an opportunity to meet the mediator individually and the process will be explained to you. After you have both attended an individual meeting, there will be a first joint meeting with the mediator. They will then get you and your partner to talk in a constructive way, and encourage you to start looking at options and ideas. In this way they are often able to help you find a workable solution, and one that can become part of a legal document.
A mediator's role is not to advise the parties, and you may benefit from independent legal advice alongside mediation.
A post-nuptial agreement is a legal document which sets out how a couple’s assets should be divided if they get divorced. Couples can enter into a post-nuptial agreement any time after they have married or entered into a civil partnership.
Post-nuptial agreements usually cover things like:
A deed of separation is a legal agreement that formalises the terms of your separation. They are usually used when parties separate but do not intend to divorce immediately. A solicitor can help you make a deed of separation that covers important issues, such as your finances, property and children. You should be aware that separation agreements are not strictly binding in the same way as a commercial agreement, but a court may uphold their terms. You should take advice from a solicitor if you think a separation agreement might be for you.
A judicial separation is similar to a divorce but leaves you legally married. It is a formal separation which goes through the courts. A solicitor can help you apply for a judicial separation.
A pre-nuptial agreement is a legal document that sets out who gets what if you get divorced or dissolve your civil partnership. Your pre-nuptial agreement should be signed at least 28 days before the date of your marriage/civil partnership.
Examples of assets a pre-nuptial agreements cover are:
A pre-nuptial agreement is not strictly binding in the same way as a commercial contract. However a pre-nuptial agreement is likely to be upheld if it is entered into freely by both parties and both parties understand what they signing up to, unless the court thinks it would be unfair to hold the parties to the agreement. A prenuptial agreement which has been prepared in the right way is increasingly likely to be enforced by the family courts.
Under English and Welsh law, a child can only have two legal parents, known as legal parenthood. The individual who gave birth to the child will automatically be the legal parent, regardless of whether they are the biological parent of the child or not. If the individual who gave birth to the child is married or in a civil partnership then their partner will become the other legal parent; unless they do not consent to the treatment that gave rise to the conception.
It is important to be aware that parental responsibility is a separate issue from legal parenthood. When undertaking treatment, it is important to consider parental responsibility and how to obtain it. Parental responsibility covers the legal rights, responsibilities and authority a person has for a child, such as making decisions about their care and upbringing.