If you are experiencing difficulties with a family matter, such as issues relating to a potential divorce and the associated financial aspects or issues concerning your children, you may be considering court proceedings.
Before you can make an application to the court in relation to a family issue you must attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). There are exemptions available and these can be discussed with you if necessary.
The purpose of the MIAM is to gauge whether mediation is a possibility in your case to resolve your issues outside of the courtroom or whether court proceedings are going to be necessary.
Courts require proof that mediation has been considered before they are able to process your application. If mediation has not been explored as an option the court can adjourn proceedings and order parties to attend mediation.
What is a MIAM?
The MIAM is a meeting conducted by an independent mediator. The aim of that meeting is to work out whether there are alternative ways to find a resolution to your problems.
The mediator should explain to you your options, what mediation is and how it works, the benefits of mediation, and the likely costs involved (and whether you might qualify for free mediation and/or Legal Aid). The meeting can be between just you and the mediator but it can involve the other party to the dispute too.
Unless you qualify for free mediation/legal aid, typically a charge will be made for a MIAM of around £80 plus VAT although this may vary according to which mediation agency is used.
How do I arrange a MIAM?
We can refer you to a local mediator to arrange a MIAM. The mediator is provided with your details together with those of the other party, as well as some background information regarding the dispute. Alternatively we can provide you with details of local mediators if you would prefer to make contact yourself in the first instance.
What happens after the MIAM?
The mediator will be able to give an indication as to whether your case is suitable for mediation. If it is, they will advise you of the next steps.
If it is considered by the mediator that it is not suitable for your case to proceed to mediation then you or your solicitor will be provided with a form which they will sign confirming that you attended at mediation. There will often be a separate administration charge for production of this form of around £40 to £50 plus VAT.
The form needs to be lodged with your court application as proof that you attempted mediation and we will assist you with preparing your court application.