What is a MIAM or Assessment Meeting?
A Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM), is a short meeting that explains what mediation is, how it can help, and a chance to assess whether mediation is suitable for you.
How long does it take?
An assessment meeting lasts around 45 minutes.
How long after a MIAM can relevant court forms such as the C100 and Form A be signed?
Following a MIAM the service is allowed to sign forms relating to the case for a period of 3 months. If 3 months has passed then there will be the need to renew the MIAM. This period is set out by the judiciary and can not be amended by the service.
If I have a form issued by the service, how long is it valid for?
All court forms issued by the service last for a standard 4 calendar months. This period is set out by the judiciary and can not be amended by the service.
Can I bring my child/children to the appointment?
We prefer you to make childcare arrangements and come alone.
Can I bring my partner/a relation/a friend for support?
We would prefer that you attend alone but if you feel you need some support you can bring someone with you to the assessment.
What happens after my assessment?
If the mediator thinks mediation is suitable for you and you want to give mediation a go, we will contact your former partner. Once both parties have been assessed, if you both want to mediate, we will arrange a mediation for you both.
Will I have to sit in the same room as my Ex?
The MIAM is always run as separate meetings, the mediator wants to listen to both parties to get a balanced view from the start.
If the conclusion is that mediation is the best way to help you, then we try and run mediation in one room as it is helpful that both parties are present to hear each others' viewpoint. However, we understand that this is not always possible and therefore, we would accommodate you by setting up a shuttle mediation. This means both parties are in separate rooms and the mediator moves between the two rooms. We are also able to stagger arrival and departure times to reduce the stress of mediation.
My Ex has organised mediation, does that mean they will have the upper hand?
No, mediation is about you both having a chance to speak and to be listened to. The mediator uses their experiences and training to help ensure that both parties are able to reach an agreed decision. Both parties are always treated as equals throughout the process.
I've been told I have to go through mediation before I can go to court, is that correct?
In the majority of cases yes. Mediation is not just cheaper and faster than making decisions through a court system, the outcomes can be stronger too as the result is created by your joint decisions. Due to these reasons the UK system for divorce means that you have to attend a MIAM meeting before you can submit your paperwork to court. There are one or two exemptions to this.
I would like to mediate in regards to the family assets but I'm not ready to do that regarding the children. Can I just cover one element in mediation?
Mediation is designed to cover the issues relevant to you. This means you can either cover assets, child care issues or both. The training and experience of the mediators means that they are equally qualified to cover all of these mediation options. The MIAM meeting will explore these options and identify which elements of the separation mediation would be best suited to help you.
We were never married, is mediation suitable for dealing with our relationship breakdown?
Yes, mediation can be used for a broad range of family situations. Marriage is one, but mediation can be used in almost all relationship situations. For example; our team often work with grandparents who would like access to their grandchildren.
Is mediation effective?
Yes. Of the cases that go to mediation, we experience in our service over 80% reaching an agreement of the issues identified. This is normally achieved in 2 mediation sessions only.
Skype allows mediation to take place without the parties coming into a meeting venue. If you would like to try this approach, then please raise this when you call to make a reservation. If you don't currently use Skype it is easy to set up on your; laptop, pad, Xbox, Amazon Alexa device or phone.
The service is always looking to improve our service to ensure that clients have a positive experience. However, on occasion something may happen that means the service has not been as a client may expect. In these situations please contact the team in first instants by phone or email to discuss the situation.
If the service is unable to deal appropriately with your issues then we have a complaints process that we would encourage you to review and follow.