Courts and the government think that mediation is the most constructive and cost-effective way for people to make arrangements about children and finances following the decision to divorce or separate.
In order to encourage greater awareness of mediation the Ministry of Justice introduced the requirement that anyone who wants to apply to court for an order about arrangements for their finances or their children must attend a mediation, information and assessment meeting first, known as a MIAM.
Make your appointment for an individual MIAM here
What happens in a MIAM?
This meeting is to give you information and help so that you can decide whether mediation will work for you. It is not a meeting in which mediation takes place. Both you and the other person in your case must be offered a MIAM before any application to court can be made, you can attend together or individually.
In the MIAM you will have the opportunity to talk about your situation and your worries, find out what mediation is and how mediation will help. You will get unbiased information from a qualified family mediator and will be able to talk about what your options are, the benefits of mediation and where to go next.
The mediator will also make an assessment as to whether mediation will work for you. If mediation is workable for you at this time, the mediator will be able to let you know what your next steps might be and will sign the appropriate forms that let the court know that you have attended mediation. Make your appointment for an individual MIAM here
A MIAM meeting usually takes about one hour.
How much does a MIAM cost?
You may be eligible for legal aid to cover the cost of the MIAM. At the start of the meeting your mediator will assess you for legally aided mediation. If you are not eligible, they will let you know what the costs will be before you proceed.
What is an online MIAM?
Online mediation is a convenient way to hold your first meeting – your MIAM. Family Matters offers online mediation via Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp or Facetime.
We will contact the other person in the case within the first two weeks of your initial referral and will continue to contact the other client until two weeks after your MIAM to try to arrange their MIAM.
If you or the mediator decides that mediation is not the right way forward for you, the mediator will send you the form which confirms that you have participated in a MIAM and you will be able to submit this to court with your C100 (the form you must complete to make an application to court about children) or the signed Form A (the form you need to complete to make an application to court about finances).
We will still contact the other person in your case to offer them their own MIAM as we are required to contact both people to offer them the same information about mediation and its benefits.
How do I arrange an online MIAM?
You can start the process of arranging your online MIAM by clicking here. Try to give us as much information as possible about your availability, so we can ensure the appointment is convenient .
Are there any special arrangements I need to make to take part in an online MIAM?
Family Matters has policies and procedures that ensure your security and will ask that you only conduct the online MIAM via Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp or Facetime. You can take part in the call alone or you can have someone present who can support you but will not take part in the meeting. We will ask you at the start of the meeting who is present and we will ask you to introduce them to the mediator