A Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) is required before you can make an application to the family court in relation to issues surrounding child arrangements or finances arising from separation or divorce/dissolution unless a valid exemption applies. A MIAM is the initial meeting between you and an appointed mediator. The third party does not attend the initial appointment with you.
In a MIAM, a mediator will discuss with you your situation, and any issues that need to be resolved. The mediator will advise you on the process, the benefits of mediation and the alternative routes to assist you in reaching any agreements or seeking a resolution to matters that are in dispute. The mediator will then inform you whether, in their opinion, your case is suitable to proceed with mediation. There is no obligation for you to proceed with mediation however, alternative dispute avenues are strongly encouraged by the court if they are appropriate.
If mediation is not a suitable resource, or you decide not to continue with mediation, the mediator will sign a certificate confirming your attendance at a MIAM which will be appended within your application to court. The application must be made within the four months subsequent to the MIAM being attended. In some circumstances, it may be more suitable for you to be referred by the mediator (if agreed by you) to alternative support agencies or organisations such as; counselling, domestic abuse charities, debt advice organisations, or council support services.
You can find a suitable Family Mediator by accessing the Resolution Find a Law Professional Service here.
At Ellisons, our Family team are committed to assisting you through difficult times, and offer an initial appointment either in person or virtually at any of our office locations to discuss your needs. If you would like to talk to one of our Family Solicitors, please get in touch.