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Holistic Family Mediation Blog

What is a MIAM? Understanding the First Step in Family Mediation

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If you're considering family mediation to resolve conflicts; you've likely come across the term "MIAM". But what exactly is a MIAM, and what does it entail? Let's dive into the details.

What is a MIAM? 

A MIAM, or Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting, marks the first step in the family mediation process. Lasting approximately an hour, this meeting offers you the opportunity to share details about your situation

with a trained mediator. Whether you're navigating divorce, child arrangement issues, or financial disputes, the MIAM serves as a crucial starting point.

During the MIAM, the mediator will:

  • Listen to your concerns and understand the issues that need to be addressed.

  • Provide information about the mediation process and other non-court dispute resolution options.

  • Assess whether your case is suitable for mediation and discuss next steps.

In October 2022, the Family Mediation Council issued new MIAM standards and guidance for all registered mediators.

Why Attend a MIAM?

Attending a MIAM is essential and a prerequisite if you're considering court action to resolve family disputes in England & Wales. In most cases, individuals are required to attend a MIAM before initiating court proceedings. However, there are exceptions, particularly in cases involving domestic abuse, where court action may be necessary for protection.

New Family Proceedings Rules that came into effect this month, April 2024, make attending a MIAM a pre-action protocol unless you are exempt from attending, with potential cost consequences for those who do not consider mediation and other non-court dispute resolution options as a way forward to resolve issues arising out of their separation and/or divorce before proceeding with a court application.

What Happens After the MIAM?

If all parties agree to proceed with mediation, the mediator will schedule your first joint mediation session. Alternatively, if mediation is deemed unsuitable or if parties choose not to continue, the mediator will discuss alternative options for resolution and will issue a MIAM certificate, which is a signed and completed page of the relevant court application form that will be needed if you wish to proceed with a court application.

Cost Considerations

If you're eligible for legal aid, the MIAM and subsequent mediation sessions may be free of charge. However, if you're not eligible for legal aid, the mediator will charge a fee for the meeting, typically around £125 to £150 per person for a MIAM. It's essential to inquire about costs when scheduling your appointment. Holistic Family Mediation & Coaching charges a £125 fixed fee for a MIAM, including the issuing of a MIAM certificate when required.

Final Thoughts

While attending a MIAM may seem daunting, it's an essential step in exploring your options for resolving family disputes. By understanding the mediation process and exploring other non-court dispute avenues for resolution, you can make informed decisions that prioritise your family's well-being.

Ready to take the first step? 

Please complete and submit a Self-Referral Form and book your initial separate MIAM online here. We will then get in touch with your ex-partner (unless requested to hold off any communication at this stage) to encourage them to engage in the process, highlighting the benefits of family mediation.

Remember, mediation offers a collaborative and constructive approach to resolving conflicts, empowering you to navigate challenging situations with confidence and compassion, serving both you and your family.

If you are curious about how Holistic Family Mediation & Coaching can help support you through separation and/or divorce, please book a Free Discovery Call via our services page here.


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