Consider legal advice and mediation
Family Law decisions can have an impact on things such as arrangements for your children, maintenance, the family home, money, assets and pensions.
You might want to get legal advice to better understand these impacts. You can decide to represent yourself in your family law matter. 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
If you decide to represent yourself, you will also need to understand court procedures.
Mediation helps to resolve any disputes you may have regarding arrangements for your children, maintenance, the family home, money, assets and pensions. 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 mediated agreement can be changed or amended as needed. You will need to go to court to do this if, for example, your mediated agreement forms part of a court order.