Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) EXPLAINED

What is MIAM’s?

The acronym used for Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting is MIAM. In April 2011, MIAM’s were first introduced. In April 2014, MIAM was made mandatory for those who wish to make an application to the family court. This reform was a part of various reforms done by the Children and Families Act 2014 which aims to provide encouragement to people for resolving their family disputes outside court. It aims to raise awareness about mediation and various forms of dispute resolution.

MIAM is basically re-branding and standardisation of the assessment meeting. Such meetings required mediators to have discussion with clients before starting joint mediation sessions. The key difference is that a qualified mediator who runs a MIAM also has the authority of signing off the necessary court forms for facilitating an application to court in case mediation does not progresses.
What to expect at a MIAM?

The aim of a MIAM is to provide good quality practical, legal and procedural information to clients for helping them in making an informed choice about the best options for resolving their dispute. It provides the clients with an opportunity of talking about their case with an impartial mediator for deciding its suitability for mediation. The mediator also provides information about other dispute resolution processes along with solicitor negotiation, arbitration and court, and collaborative law.

There are also a number of other reasons for opting for MIAM. MIAM is an opportunity for:

Knowing the mediator and making own assessment about trustworthiness and capability of handling the case
Making sure that mediation would be appropriate for all participants.
Getting information about the possible costs of the different dispute resolution processes and assessing whether any participants is eligible for Legal Aid for mediation. In case the participants are, that person gets mediation for completely free and the other client also benefits from a free MIAM and first session.

Who can provide MIAM’s:

A professional mediator with the following credentials can only provide MIAM’s:
Accredited by the Family Mediation Council (FMC) or at a minimum has attended training, recognised by the FMC, for conducting MIAMs.
Current membership of one of the FMC Member Organisations, which means that the mediator is currently practicing

What happens after a MIAM?

After the clients have attended the MIAM, it is up to them to decide whether or not to continue with the mediation. A joint meeting is then arranged for both clients with the mediator in case the mediation goes ahead. In case where mediation does not proceeds further, parties or their solicitors can ask the mediator for signing one of the relevant forms for facilitating an application to court. Majority of the mediators do not charge any additional fee for this. People can also get divorce service in Southampton for smooth settlement. It is easy to get a good divorce service in Southampton for assisting through the process.

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