Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings

What Are MIAMs?

MIAM stands for Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. MIAMs are the first meeting between the family mediator and the separating couple. This meeting will assess whether family mediation is suitable and provide the clients with further information on the mediation process, helping them to prepare for joint mediation sessions.

In Summary, A MIAM Will Help You To:

  • Assess whether the family mediation process is right for you
  • Prepare practically and emotionally for joint family mediation sessions with your ex partner
  • Prove to the court that you have considered mediation

It Is Important To Note That:

  • Since 2014, the family courts will not accept court applications on family matters without the sign-off of a mediator to evidence that the applicant has received information and considered mediation via a MIAM. For further information, see MIAMs and the Law further down the page.
  • Only accredited family mediators can run a MIAM.

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What Will Clients Be Required To Share At A MIAM?

Clients will be expected to share information about themselves, their family, and the main issues in dispute. They will also be asked to share their ex-partner’s contact details (if they have not done so already), so that the mediator can contact them to give information about mediation and invite them to attend a MIAM. In most cases, clients will attend a MIAM independently of their ex-partner, allowing them to discuss any concerns confidentially. For mediation to proceed, both parties are required to attend a MIAM. If mediation does not proceed and the matter goes to court, unless one of the parties meets specific exemption criteria, both parties will still be expected to attend a MIAM.

How Long Does A MIAM Go On For?

A MIAM typically lasts between 45 and 60 minutes.

What Does A Client Find Out At A MIAM?

A client will receive information about the mediation process, as well as other dispute resolution services. A client will receive information that is specific to their situation, which could include legal and procedural information, information about children, and signposting to other specific agencies or professionals that could help. The mediator and client will also plan for the first joint mediation session. Mediation sessions usually involve only the separating couple, but can also include individuals such as family members and parental guardians if this is helpful to the separating couple in coming to final arrangements.

What Happens After A MIAM?

After a MIAM, both mediator and client(s) reflect on whether or not to proceed with mediation. If joint mediation is to proceed, a date will be organized for the next meeting. If a party wishes to apply to court, the mediator will supply the client with signed copies of the relevant page of the court form/s needed. Able Mediation does not charge extra for this service.

MIAMS And The Law

Since April 2014, it has been a requirement of the Family Procedure Rules that anyone wishing to make an application to the Family Court must first attend a MIAM meeting and consider family mediation. It is also an expectation of the court that the other party (the respondent) should attend a MIAM.

In addition, it is a requirement of the code of practice to which professional mediators are bound that all clients attend an assessment meeting (MIAMs) before joint mediation takes place.

Exemptions To Attending A MIAM

Though this list is not exhaustive, possible exemptions to attending a MIAM may include:

  • Proven incident/s of domestic violence.
  • Child protection concerns that are either being actively managed or the subject of a current investigation.
  • Urgency because of a risk of harm.
  • Lack of contact details for the other party.
  • Disability which would prohibit the ability of one or all of the parties to attend a MIAM.
  • Previous MIAM attendance or exemption.

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MIAMs (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting)

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