How To Apply

Step 1
Consider mediation and legal advice

Family Law decisions can have an impact on things such as maintenance, arrangements for your children, the family home, money, assets and pensions.

Before deciding to make a court application you should consider reaching an agreement with the help of a mediator or a solicitor.

Mediation can help to resolve any disputes you may have regarding maintenance. It is a confidential service. All mediators are neutral.

Mediation is not there to help couples reconcile. It is there to encourage you to cooperate and work out mutually acceptable arrangements. During mediation, you can meet with the mediator together or separately.

On average, mediation takes between three and six one-hour sessions.

If you have children, your mediator can ensure that the voice of the child is heard during the mediation process.

Your agreement can be changed or amended as needed. You will need to go to court to do this if, for example, your mediated agreement has been made a rule of court or forms part of a court order.

You might also want to get legal advice to understand your options. While the Courts Service cannot advise or represent people in court, we can inform you that services offered by a legal representative should include:

  • advising you of your legal rights
  • outlining how you might reach agreement
  • preparing and filing your paperwork
  • speaking on your behalf in court

You can decide to represent yourself in your law matter. If you decide to represent yourself, you will need to understand court procedures.

More information about mediation and legal help >