Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings – MIAMs
If you want to start court proceedings for:
- issues concerning children other than child protection issues or
- issues about finances after divorce or civil partnership dissolution or financial provision for children,
you will need to show the court that you have been to a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). There are exceptions to this listed on the form. You will need your application form countersigned by a mediator who has seen you for a MIAM or you need this on a separate form “FM1”.
On this page you will find information about the following:
What happens at a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)?
If you have already discussed mediation with the other person, usually your former partner, and you both think mediation would work for you, please let us know. It may make sense for you to come to a joint meeting or start mediation straight away. If you are unsure whether mediation is suitable for you, you can still come to a meeting to discuss this. It is only if you are sure that mediation is not suitable and you cannot use any of the other exceptions on the application form that the initial meeting with a mediator has to be a formal MIAM. Not every mediator can conduct a MIAM and we are currently unable to offer this service.
Whether the meeting is a formal MIAM or not, the mediator will assess your situation and discuss with you all the possible ways to resolve the issues between you and the other person, including:
- mediation: where both of you meet with a mediator to discuss and resolve the issues,
- collaborative law: where you and both your solicitors meet to resolve the issues,
- negotiation through solicitors, or
- litigation through the courts.
You will have an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of all these options. It may be that one form of dispute resolution is suitable to resolve issues around your children and another more suitable to come to a financial settlement.
How much does it cost?
Every mediator has their own charges. At Alternative Family Law we charge a flat fee of £150 plus VAT (£180) for each of you.
We do not have a contract for legal aid for mediation. If you or your former partner qualify for legal aid for mediation, you may not have to pay for the MIAM, mediation nor advice from your own solicitors along side the mediation. In that case you will need to find a mediator who has a legal aid contract, unless you want to pay privately nevertheless. You can check on the online legal aid calculator whether you qualify for legal aid. Tick the box for mediation. If you are unsure whether or not you may qualify for legal aid, please contact a mediator with a legal aid contract who will be able to advise you on the niceties of the legal aid scheme. You can search for mediators with a legal aid contract in your area here.
What happens next?
- If you both feel mediation may work for you, you can make an appointment for a first mediation session.
- If at the end of a MIAM you think mediation is not for you or the mediator thinks mediation is not suitable in your case, the mediator will countersign your application or give you the FM1 form, which shows to the court that you have been to a MIAM.
- If the other person does not come back to the mediator, refuses to come to a MIAM or decides mediation is not for them, you will also be able to have your application form countersigned by a MIAM mediator.
- If you start mediation, but it does not resolve issues, you do not then have to go to a MIAM because the exception that you have tried a way of dispute resolution applies.
- If a mediator contacts you because the other person in your case has been to see them for a MIAM, but you do not yourself come to a MIAM, they other person can get their application form countersigned, but you cannot unless you see a mediator for a MIAM yourself.
For advice on your specific circumstances contact Andrea Woelke at Alternative Family Law: ring us on 020 7407 4007 (+44 20 7407 4007 from abroad) or us (stating your full name, the full name of the other person in your case and your telephone number on which we can call you).
Please note that we do not have a contract to take on cases on legal aid. To check if you may be able to get legal aid please go to this government website and contact a solicitor who has a legal aid contract.
2 June 2016 by Andrea Woelke