It is now a requirement under the Children and Families Act 2014, for a person to attend an initial Family Meditation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before making certain kinds of applications to obtain a court order.
The first meeting with a mediator gives you the chance to find out how mediation works. Mediators are trained to work out with you whether mediation is right for you and your family. They will also discuss how many sessions you may need, how much they would cost, and explain whether you might get legal aid to pay for mediation.
The mediator can also give you information about other services that provide help and support and the other options you might have to resolve things.
Marital breakdown whilst living in SFA
If you are living in Service Family Accommodation (SFA) and you and your partner are experiencing difficulties, there is an opportunity for you to have what’s called a ‘cooling off’ period. This involves the Serving person moving into Single Living Accommodation (SLA) for a maximum of 93 days, in which Amey and the UPO must be informed of. After this period of time, if issues still have not been resolved between you and your partner, then you are required to find suitable alternative civilian accommodation within a time frame of 93 days. The Serving person can apply for Single Living Accommodation (SLA) during this time.
Pension Sharing on Divorce/ Dissolution
A Pension Sharing Order (PSO) is an order made by a Court on divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, creating pension benefits for a former spouse or civil partner out of the benefits that the member has built up in the scheme.
The former spouse or civil partner becomes a member of the scheme in their own right (known as a Pension Credit Member) and this is known as a clean break settlement. Payment of the pension is made directly to your former spouse or civil partner at the Deferred Pension Age and is not affected by changes in your circumstances or those of your former spouse or civil partner. The PSO will specify the percentage (or amount for Scottish divorces) to be deducted from your shareable benefits at the time of your divorce.
Your former spouse or civil partner receives payment of their part of your pension at their Deferred Pension Age. Alternatively, they can opt to have their pension paid at age 55 but it will be actuarially reduced to account for the early payment. Because AFPS 15 is an unfunded public service pension scheme, your former spouse or civil partner cannot transfer their pension credit benefits out of AFPS 15 into another pension arrangement, nor can they add to them. For further information please take a look here.
Divorce or separation is not an easy time for anyone, for some practical help and guidance, please have a look at MoneyForce’s website here.
Making arrangements for your children
Information on how to make arrangements for looking after your children if you separate from your partner can be found here.
The Scottish Government have launched a really useful booklet full of information and strategies for families where the parents are divorced, separated, living apart etc. The booklet can also be useful if there are children living with different parents and visiting. For example, in the case of children from a previous relationship, step-children etc. You can find the booklet here.