Separating couples and families who are in the midst of acrimonious and costly disputes and their lawyers are often reluctant to consider mediation. Additionally there is anecdotal evidence that suggests that whilst some family judges are very supportive of mediation and make referrals wherever possible, others are much less enthusiastic.

Many people including some disputing parties, their lawyers and some family judges do not fully understand how mediation operates and often consider that individual cases are too involved or too complicated. They think there might be too much conflict or that the parties to a particular dispute are too far apart. 

Some parties may be inappropriately advised by sceptical lawyers who may have concerns about their fees, even though they are now all expected to at the very least mention the mediation option when they see new clients.