Why do I have to have a MIAM meeting?
Many people ask us why they have to have a MIAM and what it actually is.
If you are going through a divorce or separating from your partner and you have family issues that need to be resolved such as financial arrangements, property issues or arrangements for your children you may well find that you need to book a MIAM meeting. Many MIAM’s are now done online.
You will need to attend a MIAM if you are;
1. Applying for a court order about financial issues on divorce or legal separation (a Form A application)
2. Applying for a court order about your children (a C100 application)
3. Wanting to invite someone to mediation to resolve a family dispute
4. Where you both agree you would like to use family mediation to resolve a family dispute
You do not need to attend a MIAM if you are applying to the court to enforce an existing court order or you have already agreed the issue in dispute and want to get a legally binding order from the court.
In April 2011 there was an expectation that people would attend MIAM meetings before applying to the court for orders about their children or financial arrangements as part of their separation or divorce.
In2014 the expectation became a requirement under section 10 (1) of the Children and Families Act 2014. It became compulsory to attend a MIAM in order to submit an application to the court with regard to any family dispute which involved parenting issues, contact arrangements, financial arrangements and some other orders relating to children as well.
The courts want to see that couples have considered mediation by having a MIAM. There is no requirement that couples must engage in mediation after the MIAM and in certain cases mediation may not be appropriate.
It is important to realise though that a MIAM isn’t about discussing whether a relationship is at an end. A MIAM is to explain what the family mediation process is and whether you would like to consider mediation to help you resolve your family dispute.
The purpose of family mediation is to facilitate a private conversation between yourself and your partner about whatever dispute has arisen so that you have every opportunity to reach an amicable agreement and avoid the need to go to court.
You and your partner both have private and confidential MIAM meetings. After the MIAM meeting you can also take some time to consider whether mediation is the right process for you. The mediator conducting the MIAM meeting also has to make a decision about whether mediation is the right process to take you and your partner into. Your MIAM meeting has to be with the mediator who conducts the joint meetings, if moving forward with mediation is agreed by everyone.
Only after the MIAM meetings have been concluded can joint meetings go ahead if everyone agrees they want to use the mediation process to try and help them agree the issues that need to be addressed.
There are several situations where a MIAM is not necessary, here are the most common;
1. Some situations where domestic abuse has taken place
2. If you’ve already attended a MIAM meeting within the last four months
3. You need an urgent court hearing
4. Where there are child protection concerns
5. If you have a disability that cannot be accommodated
6. If the other person is in prison or has certain bail conditions
7. If you can’t get to a meeting within 15 working days
Your solicitor cannot decide whether mediation is suitable for your case. Only a family mediator can make that decision.
It should be noted that in court judges can, if they think it’s appropriate, adjourn cases whilst the parties attempt mediation. You are not obligated to attend because the mediation process must always remain voluntary but you may need to consider whether a refusal to attend mediation would negatively affect your position in court.
After your MIAM meeting, if family mediation isn’t something that is going to betaken forward, we will ensure that your lawyer receives the necessary certificate to make the application to the court. We are normally able to do that the same day as the MIAM meeting.
If you want to engage in family mediation, we will invite your partner to a MIAM meeting so there can be a full consideration of whether mediation is the right process for both of you moving forward.
We charge £126 inclusive of VAT for our MIAM meetings
If you would like to book a MIAM meeting with us please go to our website and click on the "BOOK NOW" button on the home page where you can choose a time that works for you. If you would first like to discuss anything to do with mediation with us before making a decision on next steps, then on our website, using the same "BOOK NOW" button, you can book a free 20 minute call during which we will be happy to answer any of your questions – www.familymediationandmentoring.co.uk. If you would like to telephone us direct our number is (0800) 206 2258