Advantage Mediation Mary@AdvantageMediation.co.uk Tel: 07843069381 Online Family Mediation
          Advantage MediationMary@AdvantageMediation.co.ukTel: 07843069381Online Family Mediation 

Mediation Information and assessment Meeting (*MIAM in Kent)

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: -

  1. Meet the mediator either face to face or by video call.
  2. Find out how mediation works and other forms of family dispute resolution.
  3. Discuss what is in dispute and discuss options for resolving issues.
  4. To look at other sources of support including financial, emotional and legal.

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.

If mediation is suitable the mediator will also discuss how many sessions you may need, how much they would cost, and explain whether you might get legal aid to pay for mediation. 

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. 

Who can carry out a Mediation Information and assessment meeting? Only Family Council Accredited mediators (FMCA) can conduct MIAMS.

 

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.

Exceptions

The main exemptions are:

  1. Domestic violence/child protection;
  2.  Bankruptcy;
  3. The unavailability of an authorised mediator within a specified geographic area or timescale;
  4. A MIAM has already been attended in the four months prior to making the application

 

 

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.

 

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© Mary Raymont