What is a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting?
A Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (or ‘MIAM’) is a meeting between you and a mediator to discuss whether mediation can help you and your ex to find solutions to any disagreements arising from your separation or divorce.
Do I have to attend a MIAM?
Before mediation can go ahead, the mediator needs to find out about your current situation and about the issues that need to be sorted out. You will also want to find out more about mediation and about other ways of sorting out disputes. This allows you and the mediator to decide together whether mediation is the right path for you.
People who want to apply for an order in the Family Court are usually required to attend a MIAM before their application can go ahead. The Family Court must be satisfied that mediation has been considered before the application can proceed. However, mediation itself is always voluntary, and no-one can be required to take part in mediation if it’s not right for them.
Can both of us attend together?
It’s usually better if each of you attends a separate MIAM. A one-to-one meeting with a mediator gives each of you a chance to raise any questions or concerns that you may have, and to discuss your options in an unhurried way, without any pressure to go ahead with a joint meeting.
It may be possible to arrange a joint MIAM if you and your ex are on reasonably good terms with each other, but we will need to be sure that both of you are happy to attend together. The mediator will still need to see each of you separately for around 15 – 20 minutes before the joint meeting goes ahead.
How long is the meeting?
If you attend on your own, the MIAM will usually take about an hour. If both of you attend together, the meeting will usually take about ninety minutes altogether, including your individual one-to-one discussions with the mediator.
What happens after the meeting?
If it seems that your case is suitable for mediation and your ex hasn’t yet attended, the mediator will discuss how best to invite them to consider mediation. If both of you have attended a MIAM and everyone agrees to mediation, the mediator will arrange a first mediation meeting.
What happens if mediation does not go ahead?
If mediation is not appropriate in your case, the mediator can discuss your other options, including the possibility of making an application to the court, if appropriate. If you wish to apply to the court, we can provide you with a form confirming that you have attended a MIAM: the form needs to be signed by a qualified mediator in order for the court application to go ahead.
How much does it cost?
Black Country Family Mediation does not offer legal aid. We make a charge of £75 to cover the cost of your MIAM. If both you and your ex attend, we charge £75 for each of you. If you need to make an application to the court, this charge covers the cost of the form confirming that you have attended a MIAM.
Whilst you may be unsure what you currently want, a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting will give you all the information, reassurance and professional guidance that you need to make the right choices for the future.