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What is maintenance mediation

Maintenance mediation aims to resolve maintenance disputes without a hearing. It is conducted free-of-charge in a private setting by the Maintenance Mediation Chambers (MMC).

Mediation is usually the first session scheduled by the court for a maintenance application.

Note: In some exceptional cases, the court may direct the parties to attend a court mention instead of mediation.

How mediation is conducted

Mediation may be conducted in person at the MMC (Level 2, Family Justice Courts at Havelock Square) or virtually.

Note
For virtual mediation sessions, the court will inform you via email or post that you do not need to go to court. You will also receive the details of the virtual session.

Generally, there may be 1 to 2 mediation sessions for each case. For parties who did not reach an agreement during the first session, the second session allows them to reconsider their options and prepare the necessary documents.

Note: There may be more than 2 mediation sessions in some cases, if there are valid reasons.

What to bring to mediation

You may bring any documents that support your case.

Some examples include:

  • (For applicants) Forms or documents you have submitted as part of your application.
  • (For respondents in an enforcement application) Any proof of payment made, if applicable, such as receipts or transaction slips.

During your mediation session

The mediator assigned to your case will conduct a private session with you and the other party. The aim is to help both parties arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution in a non-confrontational setting.

The following may happen during your mediation session:

  • You and the other party are given the opportunity to present your respective positions.
  • You have to follow ground rules, such as taking turns to speak and not making personal attacks on each other.
  • The mediator may use a variety of mediation tools to guide you and the other party to explore your needs and interests, as well as areas in which you may be able to come to an informed and mutually acceptable resolution.

A typical mediation session takes between 45 minutes to an hour. Only parties to the case are allowed to attend.

Mediation is confidential and without prejudice. The mediator will not share information that was discussed during the session with anyone else who was not involved in the mediation.

Possible outcomes of the mediation session

If a resolution is reached

If parties come to an agreement, the terms of the agreement will be recorded before a judge as a consent order. The matter is then concluded. Both parties must comply with the consent order.

The applicant may also choose to withdraw the application.

If a resolution is not reached

If the parties cannot come to an agreement after one or more mediation sessions, the case will proceed to a court mention before a judge.

Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

2021/07/23

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

Refer to the maintenance brochure:

Related questions

The documents you submitted for mediation will not be used for the hearing if there is no resolution.

If you wish to use the same documents for a hearing, you will need to submit them to the court in a different format for the purposes of the hearing. The court will direct you on preparing and submitting these documents during a mention.


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