You only need to be assessed for Mediation if you wish to issue Court proceedings.
What Is A MIAM?
A MIAM (Mediation Information Assessment Meeting) is a Mediation Assessment meeting with a Mediator to decide whether the issues in dispute are capable of settlement through Mediation, Collaborative Law or any other non-Court based form of Dispute Resolution.
Anyone wishing to issue proceedings in the Family Court in relation to money or children issues is expected to attend a MIAM.
There are certain cases that are exempt from this requirement and in some circumstances a MIAM will not be appropriate (e.g. if you need to make an emergency application). Your Solicitor will be able to advise you.
If proceedings are issued the Court will ask at the first Hearing whether Mediation has been considered by the parties. In some instances the Court proceedings may be put on hold for Mediation to take place.
Why were Mediation Assessments (MIAMS) introduced?
There are two reasons:
- It has increasingly been felt over the years that Court is not the best place to resolve family disputes. Particularly disputes relating to children. It is much better for parents to agree arrangements between themselves.
- The Family Courts are extremely busy which can lead to delays in cases being heard. If couples can be referred to Mediation it frees up Court time to deal with cases which need judicial input, e.g. very complicated financial cases or those involving children at risk.
What happens at a Mediation Assessment (MIAM)?
The Mediator will meet you and your spouse/partner together if possible but if not, you can be seen separately.
The Mediator will need to understand the issues between you. They will ask questions to establish whether Mediation is suitable for your case.
The Mediator will tell you about other forms of alternative Dispute Resolution. They will also tell you about other services which may be helpful to your situation.
What Happens after a Mediation Assessment?
The Mediator will decide whether or not Mediation is right for your particular situation and will sign a certificate (Form FM1). If the case is suitable for Mediation and you both wish to participate, the Mediator from Ringrose Family Mediation Service can deal with the Mediation for you.
A date will be fixed for your first Mediation session.
Ultimately, if an agreement is reached the Mediator will write to your Solicitors to set out the details.
During the Mediation process you can receive ongoing support from your Solicitor. Your Solicitor will be able to give you legal advice on the terms of any proposed agreement.
If the Mediation does not result in an agreement and one party wishes to issue an application with the Court, the Mediator will provide a signed Form FM1 to your Solicitor so that the proceedings can be issued.
Who does the Mediation Assessment (MIAM)?
At Ringrose Law our Family Mediator Emma McGrath will do the Mediation Assessment (MIAMs).
If Ringrose Law has given legal advice to you we cannot do a Mediation Assessment MIAM or Mediation for you and your spouse/partner. Our team can recommend you to other local Mediators.
How much does the Mediation Assessment (MIAM) cost and who pays for it?
The cost of a Mediation Assessment (MIAM) is £100.00 plus VAT.
The cost is usually shared between the two participants and payment is made at the meeting.