Following guidelines that came into force in 2014 (please click here for more information), anyone who wants to make a court application in relation to the vast majority of private law family matters, which includes any applications relating to either finances or children’s issues, needs to attend a meeting with a suitably qualified family mediator. This meeting is called a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).
This is an opportunity for the mediator to share a lot of important information with each party, including detailed information about mediation as well as all the other possible alternatives to mediation, which include the use of solicitors and the court process. It is also your opportunity to explain the issues that you are facing. The mediator will then assess whether the matter is suitable for mediation.
If the mediator assesses that the matters are suitable for mediation then it is expected that both parties will consider starting the mediation process either with the assessing mediator or another mediator, or to look for a solution via one of the alternatives to mediation but not via the courts. If the case is assessed as not being suitable for mediation, the mediator will complete the mediator’s section of the relevant form to record this and the parties will be able either to make the required application to court or to explore any of the other alternatives to mediation.
At Godalming Family Mediation, we offer MIAMs at a fixed fee of £100 in the Godalming office (with no VAT to add) and £150 in London for each party. The meeting normally lasts approximately 1 hour which allows plenty of time for all the relevant issues to be explored and for questions to be asked to the mediator. We prefer to see each party separately for this meeting in order to ensure that each party has the opportunity to speak freely and to get information that is tailored to their specific needs and circumstances. Please contact us if you would like more information about the MIAM process.