WHAT IS A MIAM?
A Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting is your opportunity to find out about mediation, to say what's important to you and to check that mediation is appropriate in your situation. (You are required to attend a MIAM before making a court application.)
WHAT IS A FORM A / C100?
These forms are used to make an application to court, for a financial remedy (Form A) or children arrangements (C100). Unless you qualify for a specific exemption, a mediator must sign the relevant page of these forms before you can submit your application to court.
IS MEDIATION COMPULSORY?
A MIAM is compulsory before making an application to court, unless you qualify for a specific exemption. You don't have to attend your MIAM with the other person. Mediation itself is not compulsory. It only happens if both people are willing.
IS MEDIATION ALWAYS APPROPRIATE?
In some situations, mediation is not suitable. If there has been domestic abuse, your mediator will talk through the safeguards available when you attend your individual MIAM. Mediation would only go ahead if you and your mediator are satisfied that mediation would be safe and balanced.
WHAT STOPS MY EX DOMINATING?
Your mediator ensures that each person is able to speak and be heard, and maintains a balance in the discussion. The session is structured to focus on the points that you agree should be covered.
WHAT IF THE OTHER PERSON WON'T MEDIATE?
It does take two people for mediation to happen. If the other person refuses, or cannot attend, then your mediator can talk through other options with you at your MIAM. If you decide to make an application to court, the mediator will sign the relevant form to confirm that you have considered mediation.
DO I NEED A SOLICITOR?
You will have the opportunity to take legal, financial and other specialist advice during the mediation process. Your mediator will recommend that you do this at certain points, particularly if you are making decisions about property and finance. Mediators don't give legal advice.
ARE MEDIATED AGREEMENTS LEGALLY BINDING?
No. However, they are more likely to be sustainable because you have both participated in the decision-making process. If a court order is needed, it is possible to apply for a consent order based on your decisions in mediation. This puts you in the same position as any other court order (though may well be achieved faster).