The mediation process begins with a referral. This can either be sent to us by you directly, by a solicitor or another referring agency. The referral involves gathering contact information about you both and asking some questions regarding other agency involvement if relevant.
2. Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)
We then arrange an individual MIAM for you. We can arrange joint MIAMs and would always ask you if you wish to attend this appointment together but in our experience the process works best if you have the appointments separately.
At the MIAM, the mediator will provide you with lots of information about mediation and check whether mediation or another form of family dispute resolution is suitable in all the circumstances.
If you are in dispute with your ex-partner or a family member, or if you are having difficulties sorting out issues surrounding your separation or divorce, you may be considering making a court application. Before an application can be made to court for private law children proceedings or for a financial remedy, the applicant is required (subject to limited exceptions) to attend a MIAM.
What happens at a MIAM?
For more information about a MIAM please see our blog ‘What is a MIAM?’
How much does it cost?
Please see our website for our charges, but Legal Aid is available for family mediation and if you are eligible there is no charge for a MIAM nor any subsequent mediation sessions.
Upon request, the mediator will assess your eligibility for legal aid without charge at the start of the MIAM. If you are not eligible, you do not have to proceed with the meeting unless you wish to do so in which case a fee is payable.
If the other party is eligible for Legal Aid, the Legal Aid Agency will pay for the MIAM for both clients.
3. Write to other party
Once we’ve met you in your MIAM and if you want us to, we will write to the other party to invite them to attend a separate MIAM. If we can, we telephone them to follow up on their letter, discuss any questions they may have about mediation and ask whether they wish to attend a MIAM. If they are willing, we will organise this.
What if the other party won’t attend?
When we write to the other party, we ask them to inform us within two weeks as to whether they wish to attend a MIAM. If we have not engaged with them within this time-period, we will presume they do not wish to proceed and will let you know. If they do not wish to attend a MIAM, we will let you know this straight away. We urge clients to avoid delays. Mediation is a flexible process and we can always reopen the case if the other party contacts us outside this timeframe provided you remain willing to mediate.
If mediation isn’t suitable, you will be assisted to look at other options. If you decide to make a court application, the mediator can sign the relevant page of the application form to enable you to file the court application.
For more information about the mediation proce
ss please see our blog coming soon ‘What happens in mediation?’
Or for more information about what is discussed in this blog please call us on 01670 528441 or contact us via our website.