What is a MIAM?

26 May 2024

Going through a breakup is never easy, especially when children are involved. Decisions about finances, custody, and future arrangements can be stressful and emotionally taxing. If you're facing separation or divorce, you might have heard about "family mediation" and "MIAMs." But what exactly are they? We can help you cut through all the jargon!

MIAM Explained: Your First Step Towards Resolution

MIAM stands for Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. It's a confidential meeting between you and a trained family mediator. This meeting is crucial in many situations before going to court to resolve family disputes.

Think of a MIAM as an information session and assessment rolled into one. Here's what you can expect:

  • Understanding Mediation: The mediator will explain what family mediation is and how it works. Mediation is a process where a neutral third party helps you and your ex discuss and hopefully reach agreements on issues like contact arrangements, finances, and dividing property.
  • Exploring Options: The mediator will discuss other ways to resolve family disputes outside of court. If appropriate, we can offer joint mediation sessions with your ex-partner, if they would like to try mediation as well.
  • Assessing Suitability: The mediator will assess if your situation is suitable for mediation. They'll consider factors like communication levels, the nature of the dispute, and any safety concerns.
  • Cost and Benefits: The mediator will explain the costs involved in mediation and highlight the benefits compared to court proceedings. Often mediation is free and funded through Legal Aid or the Family Mediation Voucher Scheme.  Even if you are not eligible, mediation is faster, less expensive, and allows for more control over the outcome.

Who Needs a MIAM?

Attending a MIAM is a requirement before applying to court for certain family issues, particularly those involving children. However, even if not mandatory, a MIAM can be a valuable first step for many couples after a separation or divorce.

What Happens After a MIAM?

If your situation is suitable for mediation, we can try and get into contact with your ex to see if mediation is something they would like to try. If they agree, then we can get a joint mediation session booked in.

If mediation is unsuitable, or the other party does not want to try mediation, then we can give you the necessary forms to make a court application.

Benefits of MIAMs in Family Mediation

  • Save Time and Money: Mediation is generally faster and less expensive (quite often free!) than court battles.
  • Reduced Conflict: A mediator can help keep communication civil and focused on solutions, not arguing.
  • Control Over Decisions: In mediation, you and your ex work can find solutions that work for you both, instead of allowing a judge to decide for you.
  • Confidentiality: The MIAM and any subsequent mediation sessions are confidential, protecting your privacy.

Going through a separation or divorce can be a difficult time. At Tees Valley Mediation, we can help. If you want to learn more about MIAMs, or mediation in general, get in touch with our team by calling 01429 869247 or email info@teesvalleymediation.co.uk


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