Everything you need to know about MIAMs

Everything you need to know about MIAMs

What is a MIAM?

A MIAM is a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. Put more simply it’s a chance for you to meet a mediator to tell them about your situation. Between you and the mediator you can work out if mediation might be able to help you in your particular situation.

How much does it cost?

At Progressive Mediation our MIAMs are free as this initial assessment will decide if mediation will work or not.

Can you give legal advice in a MIAM?

As Mediators we cannot give you legal advice, but we can give you an idea of the general legal picture around divorce and separation, and we can point you to solicitors who will give sensible and economical legal advice.

How long will it take?

Usually a MIAM will take between 45 minutes to an hour.

Do I come to the MIAM alone?

At a MIAM we usually prefer to see people individually rather than together, as it gives each person a chance to speak freely about what they are hoping to achieve through mediation and any concerns they may have. Some separating couples prefer to have a joint MIAM. We are happy to do this, but we usually ask to have some time alone with each of you during the course of this meeting.

Your MIAM is one of the only times when it is just you and the Mediator. Once mediation starts, in the interests of fairness, most conversations with the mediator will need to involve your ex-partner. So the MIAM is a good opportunity for you to ask any questions or express any doubts or concerns you may have about mediation. If there has been any violence in your relationship, or if you are worried about the welfare of your children when they are with your ex-partner it would be a good time to talk about this.

Is a MIAM confidential?

MIAMs are treated 100% confidentially and we would not pass any information to your ex-partner that you have disclosed during your MIAM.

Does a MIAM have a Legal Status?

Since April 2014 MIAMs have a legal status. It is now compulsory to have a MIAM before you use the courts to try and resolve your differences about your children or finances. It is not compulsory to attend mediation.

What happens after the MIAM?

If you decide after your MIAM that you do not wish to mediate we will sign off the court form which says that you have met with a mediator, but that you do not wish to proceed with mediation. We charge £45 to sign this form. If you are eligible for legal aid we will do this for free.

If you think you might be eligible for legal aid we will carry out an assessment at your MIAM. You may be eligible for legal aid if you are on a low income, working part time, or receiving certain benefits (Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support and ESA). You will need to bring proof of your income to the MIAM in order to qualify for legal aid. This may be a recent benefit award letter and your last month’s bank statements.

If you want to proceed with the mediation following your MIAM, we will guide you to the next steps to set up the mediation sessions for both parties.

What do I need to prepare before my MIAM?

We are often asked by people if they need to prepare anything for a MIAM. The answer is No. Unless you are being assessed for legal aid, you do not need to write anything down, or bring any documents. We just want to hear from you about your circumstances, and what you are hoping to resolve through mediation.

If you have any further questions about what to expect at your MIAM or you would like to book one please call Frances Place on 0117 924 3880.