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Case Study – MIAM

Case Study – Arranging A MIAM – Separating Couple in Devon

A MIAM or Mediation Information Assessment Meeting is the first step of the process if a separating couple wish to either proceed with mediation or make an application to court to resolve family disputes. Often these disputes relate to the arrangements for children after the separation.

This case study shows how the process worked for a separating couple in Devon.

 

Background to the Case

Rachel and Chris had been together for 5 years when they decided to separate. Their relationship had been put under considerable strain since Rachel had gone back to work full time after their second daughter turned one. With both parents working full time, debt mounting and the day to day struggles with housework and keeping the home running smoothly, they both felt they just didn’t want to be together anymore.

Chris felt that Rachel should be more focused at home than on her career path and was suspecting that she was having an affair with someone at work as she was always working late. Rachel was feeling that Chris had only stayed with her because she had fallen pregnant very early on in their relationship and now, they had children he wanted her to just be at home with the kids all day.

Due to the unexpected pregnancy within a month of them getting together none of these issues or expectations on either side had been discussed and the couple were struggling to communicate with each other.

Chris had moved out of the family home as Rachel and him had become so heated and angry with each other. His contact with the children was sporadic as they couldn’t agree on anything and he was staying with friends where it was inappropriate to have the children to stay over.

Arranging the MIAM

Rachel contacted us to find out more about the mediation information and assessment meeting so that they could start the process of finding resolution over the arrangements for the children. She was willing and keen to attend the MIAM to get the process underway as soon as possible. The difficulty in this case arose when Chris didn’t want to attend or even respond to her invitation to the MIAM.

We asked Rachel what was the best way to contact him, so we could also invite him to attend. We are able to contact the second party either by phone, text, email or letter.

In these situations, if one person doesn’t wish to attend the MIAM or if it isn’t possible, we are able to sign off the court form to enable the couple to proceed through the courts. In some cases, if the relationship is completely broken then mediation would not be a viable option.

Rachel was worried that this might happen and really wanted the chance to try to work things out without going to court if at all possible. Eventually, we were able to contact Chris by phone and he agreed to come to a meeting with us.

The Outcome

We conducted the MIAMs separately, as is usual practise, with Chris and Rachel attending on different days. During the assessments, it became clear that both of them wanted the best for their daughters and they realised that building a plan around the girls and their work commitments that suited them both through amicable agreement was better than going to court.

Over the weeks that followed Chris and Rachel came to mediation sessions together to reach agreement over the arrangements for their girls. An easy to follow shared parenting plan was devised that could be implemented as soon as Chris found a new place to live.

Do You Need a MIAM?

If you would like to find out more about MIAMs, please feel free to call us on 0788 903 9393 to discuss your situation. We are experienced mediators and can help people across Devon and South Hams.

 

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