What is a MIAM?
A MIAM is the first step in the Family Mediation process, it is a meeting with the mediator who will be working with you at Children 1st Family Mediation.
It is often referred to a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting and is something that you must attend, except in some rare cases, before you can consider making an application to family Court in relation to any family matters.
A MIAM must be conducted by a mediator who is accredited by the Family Mediation Council (FMC). All of our mediators have many years’ experience, and all have the necessary professional memberships and qualifications to sign the required forms for court should mediation not be suitable or breakdown.
What is the purpose?
The aim of the MIAM meeting is to see whether your family situation is suitable for mediation. The Mediator will task you questions to try to understand about the situation that you are in, what your looking to resolve and they will tell you more about how Family Mediation might work in your circumstance, explore the possibility of you both mediating and tell you about the other options that may be able to resolve the problem you are facing, including going to Court.
Remember you must attend a MIAM if you are having problems any of the following:- child arrangements sometimes called custody or contact, separation and divorce before attending court, save for exceptional circumstances.
How does the Meeting Work?
A MIAM is always best face to face, but we understand that this is not always possible, particularly with the overriding Covid considerations. With this is mind we are conducting most of our MIAM meetings online, typically by Zoom, although What’s app and Facetime are also available in some cases. There are still some options for face to face MIAMs where the need arises.
We would normally see clients face to face at one of our local offices, but as a result of Covid there are currently a temporarily limited number of face to face appointments in our Plymouth offices. This means we can see clients from across England and Wales online.
The initial meeting would normally last up to 1hr and in advance of the meeting the administration team will do a financial assessment to find out if you are your ex-partner are eligible for legal aid.
What does it cost?
Before the MIAM the admin team will speak to you to find out if you may be eligible for Legal Aid, they will undertake a financial assessment to work out if you are eligible to claim FREE Mediation. If you eligible or your ex-partner is eligible then this meeting will be FREE for you.
If you or your ex-partner are not eligible for free legal aid to cover the cost of the MIAM then the costs will be £108 inc Vat. This may seem quite a lot when you’re trying to resolve financial issues and there’s not much money to go around, but these costs are many times less than what you could pay in legal fees to try and agree the issues. There is also a non means tested voucher scheme to assist with any further mediation costs available currently. The Mediator will speak to you about this in the MIAM.
What Happens After the MIAM?
Following the MIAM the mediator will contact your ex-partner , normally this is done by telephone and they speak to them to invite them to attend a separate MIAM meeting with them.
Once the mediator has seen you both for a MIAM, assuming that you are both willing to attend mediation and that the mediator feels that it is a safe process for you both, then the admin team will be in touch with you to arrange a first joint mediation meeting, this will normally be together, although in some instances this may be with you both in separate rooms. This is explained more in more detail on our What is mediation? page.