If you are in dispute with your ex-partner/spouse regarding your children, or if you are having problems settling your separation, you may be thinking about issuing Court proceedings.
As of July 2014, before any application can be made to court, you are now required to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). The aim of the meeting is to see if mediation could be used to resolve your difficulties, rather than going straight to court. Courts are required to know that mediation has been considered before they are able to proceed with your application.
What is a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting?
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 what your options may be, how mediation will work, the benefits of mediation and the costing involved. The meeting can be between the mediator and just you or with your ex-partner too.
What does a mediator do?
During mediation, a mediator will:
- Listen and help you to work out what has to be dealt with
- Discuss what your options are and what might work best for you
- Make sure you both have the opportunity to speak
- Provide any information you might need
- Advise you on when you might need further advice
- Make sure that decisions made are fair for both you, your children, and your family circumstances.
When an agreement is reached, the mediator will put it into writing and make sure that all parties understand what it means. The decisions reached at mediation are not legally binding, but you can ask a court to make them so with a consent order. Your mediator can help you with this.
What if mediation is deemed unsuitable?
If mediation is deemed unsuitable the mediator will sign off the relevant form/page of application enabling you to make an Application to Court.
To find out more about a MIAM please contact us today, we can make the referral, on your behalf, to a recommended experienced mediator. In some circumstances mediation may not be appropriate; for example due to past domestic violence issues or child protection matters (there are also more exemptions.) To arrange a 30 minute initial consultation to discuss your problems and the possibility of mediation call us on 0808 178 2773.