Published on January 3, 2023

A MIAM (Mediation Information And Assessment Meeting) is the first step whether you think you need to make an application to court, wish to mediate or even a combination of the two. You cannot make an application to court without attending a MIAM unless you are exempt (see here for more information on exemptions). How do you go about preparing for a MIAM?

If there are any relevant court orders make sure you take them with you. Otherwise, all you will need is a notepad to jot down any useful information you may hear.

Check whether the mediator is accredited for children and family cases (this tells you your mediator has both experience and some successful outcomes).

There is absolutely nothing to be nervous about; the mediators are there to help you resolve matters so they will explain the process and principles of mediation. They will then ask you to sign an agreement to mediate. Don’t worry; this does not commit you to anything other than abiding by the principles of mediation if you attend mediation. It ensures you both keep matters discussed confidential For example:

If you are looking for a mediation service to provide a MIAM for you top tips would be:

Have a look at their website ahead, is it helpful?

Look at the costs of both the MIAM and the mediation session costs as if it goes well you will be paying both.

Check whether the mediator is accredited for children and family cases (this tells you your mediator has both experience and some successful outcomes).

Ask whether the service is run on a sole mediator basis or co-mediation basis and if the latter whether they charge extra for this?

Co-mediation simply means you have the benefit of two mediators working for you to solve the issue and therefore, hopefully able to offer a higher success rate. Green Light Mediation does not charge higher fees for co-mediation.

Most people choose to have their MIAM alone and that can be useful for both clients and mediators as it is a chance to calmly express your perspective regarding the dispute and understand how the process can help you.

A MIAM is an opportunity to meet and build rapport with your mediator and to ask any questions you might have so if you have a burning question write it down on your pad ahead so that you don’t forget to ask.

Postscript. Issues arising out of divorce or separation can often prove stressful for the couple and other family members. This article written by Dylan Watkins GP offers a useful overview for those who may be struggling. Signposting to additional support and relevant organisations can be found in this link.

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Mediation

Mediation is the process through which independent mediators try to help a couple reach agreement about the arrangements to be made for children and/or finances following their decision to divorce or separate. It is sometimes wrongly thought to be a discussion about the relationship and whether a reconciliation is possible. 

Should I Be Concerned About Going To Mediation?

Some separating couples are wary about mediating. There is plenty of evidence, though, to prove that mediated settlements are longer-lasting than court decisions, are less acrimonious and are cheaper. The benefits of mediation are worth considering even if you are cautious. It is a good way of resolving issues and disagreements because it means you can work together to find solutions that work for you both and which take into account your respective priorities and objectives. You can also work out a resolution that’s totally tailored to the needs of your children. This point alone makes it really worth considering.

Mediation Can Offer A Safe And Supported Space

Mediation can often help to avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding because you are talking to each other directly and the mediator can help you both to be clear about what it is you are wanting to say. The mediator provides a safe and supported space and helps you to structure your discussions so that they remain on track. They can guide you through difficult processes like resolving financial issues on a step-by-step basis. The mediator is an expert in family issues so they can provide information and guidance on all aspects of separation.

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