The Ministry of Justice encourages amicable resolution through mediation.
AdviceNow has A Survival Guide to Using Family Mediation after a Break Up.
You don’t have to go for mediation but it is a Legal Requirement to go for a Mediation Information and Assessment (MIAM) meeting before Family Court proceedings begin.

A MIAM is a consultation to share information about the process and benefits of mediation. It will also be used to assess whether mediation is suitable for you.
The Family Mediation Council (FMC) is a government-regulated, not-for-profit organisation that maintains a Register of FMC Qualified Family Mediators to help you find mediators near you.
At a MIAM a trained mediator will give you information about mediation and how it can help you.
The mediator will work out if mediation is appropriate in your case.

If the mediator finds that mediation is not appropriate, they will issue you with the appropriate certificate.

If mediation is appropriate, with your permission the second party is contacted for their own MIAM.
After that, all being well, the mediator will make an appointment for a joint session.

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