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.
Mediation may be conducted in person at the MMC (Level 2, Family Justice Courts at Havelock Square) or virtually.
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.
You may bring any documents that support your case.
Some examples include:
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:
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.
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 the parties cannot come to an agreement after one or more mediation sessions, the case will proceed to a court mention before a judge.
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.