What is a MIAM (Mediation Information and assessment Meeting) ?
A MIAM is short for Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM).
The first meeting with a mediator gives you the chance to: -
Mediation typically includes finance and property issues and children issues.
As well as providing information about what mediation can provide, the mediator is making an assessment about your ability to mediate. In some cases, mediation might not be suitable. Mediators are trained to work out with you whether mediation is right for you and your family.
The mediator can also give you information about other services that provide help and support and the other options you might have to resolve things. For example, solicitor negotiation, collaborative law and arbitration.
The meeting can be face to face or via video conference e.g. skype, facetime or video WhatsApp. You are requested to ensure that you have a video conference meeting in a private location without anyone else attending unless agreed with the mediator beforehand to keep the meeting confidential.
Do I have to attend a Mediation Information Assessment?
If you want to take your case to court it is now a legal requirement in most cases to attend a MIAM. There are exceptions to attending a MIAM and these are set out below.
The other person involved is also expected to attend a MIAM, but they don’t have to go to the same meeting as you. It can also be agreed at the MIAM that mediation and other alternatives to court aren’t right for you. They will usually pay for their own meeting .
There are many options to resolve children and finance matters. These include making arrangements informally between you both, through solicitors, through mediation or arbitration and through the courts .
Bear in mind there are a range of options available for resolving family disputes so, even if mediation isn’t right for you, court isn’t the only other option.
How long is it?
A MIAM for one person is usually around one hour.
Who should attend the meeting?
Most people attend this meeting on their own. Usually the meetings are held separately from the other party and can be face to face or by video conference e.g. facetime, WhatsApp or Skype.
if you prefer you can attend the meeting together . You can choose if you prefer a joint meeting but time will always be spent with each person alone before the joint meeting starts to make sure they have made their own decision to come to mediation and are not at risk of any harm or abuse. Please note a joint meeting will be 1.5 hours
Payment is when booking by bank transfer.
The mediator will usually contact the other person unless there is a reason not to do so.
If the other person wishes to attend an assessment meeting individually then they pay for their individula session..
If everyone agrees to try mediation then an appointment is made for your first mediation session. The joint meeting is usually two hours and there may be between 1-5 sessions, or more depending on your needs. If you wish to learn more about this please read the separate note regarding mediation.
If you decide not to continue into mediation or it’s not suitable, then the mediator will sign the relevant court form to show you have considered mediation. This means you can take your case to court, if that’s what you decide to do next. This certificate must be used within 4 months.
The main exemptions are:
Confidentiality of MIAM
If you have a one to one or MIAM meeting without mediation the Mediator will not disclose information gathered during this process from one person to the other unless there is a safeguarding issue or you state you wish it to be shared. Please remember some cases are not suitable for mediation and the court understands this can be the decision of either party or the mediator but does not ask which.
If however you move on to mediation then the mediator cannot keep confidences from each of you and information from the MIAM or one to one meeting can be shared with both of you.