If you are in dispute with your ex, or are having difficulties settling your separation, you may be thinking about court proceedings.
Before an application can be made to court, you are required to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting, or ‘MIAM’ for short.
The aim is to see if mediation could be used to resolve your difficulties, rather than going straight to court.
The MIAM is a meeting between you and a mediator to find out if there are alternative ways to find solutions to your problems.
The mediator will explain to you:
- what your options might be.
- what mediation is, and how it works.
- the benefits of mediation and other appropriate forms of resolving disputes.
- the likely costs of using mediation.
- if you are eligible for free mediation and Legal Aid.
The meeting can be between the mediator and just you, or with your ex-partner too.
How long is the meeting?
The meeting usually lasts around 45 minutes.
How much will it cost?
You may be eligible for Legal Aid to cover the cost. But if not, your local service will be able to advise you of their charges. We provide a range of flexible packages and payment terms.
What happens after the meeting?
The mediator will be able to tell you if your case is suitable for mediation. If it is, he or she will advise you of the next steps.
The benefits of mediation
Mediation provides a safe, confidential environment, allowing you to discuss future arrangements for you and your family.
Our mediators are skilled at helping you navigate the legal and emotional maze that family breakdown can create.
It is cheaper, quicker and less stressful than going to court.
It helps provide long-term solutions that are in the best interests of you and your family.
It is flexible and can accommodate all of your family’s unique needs, allowing you to keep more control over your own future.
Mediation will help you sort out
- the first steps to take
- the options available to you
- arrangements for your children
- child maintenance payments
- housing and accommodation issues
- how to settle finances, savings, joint debts, pensions and mortgages
What happens if mediation does not go ahead?
If, after your MIAM, it’s considered that mediation is not suitable in your case, the mediator will supply you with a form. Signed by a certified mediator, this form confirms that you have attended a MIAM. A court will then allow you to issue proceedings.