Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAM)
This document provides general guidance regarding the Mediation Information Assessment Meeting. It explains what a MIAM is and why you might need one. Your family lawyer will be able to provide specific advice based on your circumstances.
How might a MIAM help me?
Your solicitor may have explained to you, or you may know that people are being recommended and encouraged to consider resolving matters between them without going to Court. This is because the Courts can struggle to find solutions that suit the whole family and that reduce the conflict between former partners, especially if they are parents. Decision making through Courts can take a long time and increase stress on everyone involved. Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings are designed to help you to consider what might be available to assist you and to provide any other information that might help you to move forward.
- Meetings are conducted by a qualified mediator, recognised for this purpose. Their role is to assess with you what is most important for you to deal with or resolve, the ways in which you might sort things out between you without going to Court (and that you might not know about) and to provide any other information that might help or assist you in all the circumstances. The mediator you meet will also invite the other person/your former partner to a similar meeting.
- To make the best use of the time at the meeting, many mediators will ask you to provide brief information about yourself and your situation ahead of your meeting. This information is confidential unless and until you agree that any of the information you provide might be shared with another person.
- Meetings are usually offered on a confidential basis, the only exception to this being if you should report or say anything in the meeting that refers to your safety, the safety of another person – and particularly of any child or children. If that should happen, the mediator will talk with you about what needs to happen next, including whether they should contact an appropriate agency. Mediators have a responsibility to ensure that they do everything that can to protect vulnerable individuals and especially any child or children.
- As the mediator you meet with may go on to act as a mediator for you both, should you and the other person/your former partner wish to try mediating, they will be most interested in which is important to you to sort out and what you hope can be achieved rather than what has happened and whether it is anyone’s fault. This is because mediators need to work in a balanced and even-handed way with both of you, to ensure that any process of mediation is impartial.
- It is important too that you understand that the information shared in a separate meeting which is relevant to the matters you wish to resolve in mediation will need to be part of any discussion if you decide to go on to mediate. The mediator
who meets with you will explain and discuss this with you so that you are clear about this.
- In the meeting, the mediator will also be able to give you information about any other matters that may be worrying you – for example, your children and managing parenting now or once you are living separately, managing money and debts, personal emotional support and/or other practical matters that affect those who are separated or who are planning to or have divorced.
Meetings usually last between 30 and 45 minutes depending on what you need to discuss and there is a charge for the meeting of £120 plus vat (£144) which is payable in advance of the meeting. If you are eligible legal aid, you may be able to find a mediator offering MIAM’s free of charge although please note that we do not undertake any legal aid work.
To make an appointment online, please visit our client portal or call 01245 890224.