What is a Mediation and Information Assessment Meeting?

What is a MIAM?

Mediation and Information Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) were introduced in April 2014 for divorcing couples as an alternative to lengthy and costly disputes in Court over issues such as division of assets and access arrangements. The initial meeting is facilitated by a trained mediator accredited by the Family Mediation Council (FMC). The meeting is designed to provide you with information and determine whether mediation might help you. Some couples attend the meeting together, but you can attend it on your own.

Mediation can still be an option if you've been separated for some time or even if your case has already gone to court.

Do I have to attend a MIAM?

In many cases, attending the MIAM is compulsory prior to making an application to Court; however if certain conditions apply, you won't have to attend. These include:

You can search for mediators in your area using the Family Mediation Centre website.

How much does it cost?

There is no set fee, but the each mediator will provide information on charges:

If you are eligible for Legal Aid, you won't have to pay. During the initial MIAM, the mediator can advise you how much the process is likely to cost. Bear in mind that the cost of mediation is usually much cheaper than going to court.

What happens next?

If you and your mediator agree that mediation is the most appropriate option, you will arrange to have your first session. You can still obtain legal advice during the mediation process; for example if you need legally binding documents drawn up.

If you decide you don't want to continue with mediation, or mediation is not suitable, the mediator will fill in a form to confirm you've attended a session. This form needs to be provided to the Court if you are making an application on a family issue.

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