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Mediation Information Meeting (MIAM) Merseyside

A MIAM is an introductory meeting that is conducted by a trained mediator who discuss the dispute with both parties briefly to assess the situation and circumstances.

They will then make an assessment based on the information they have gathered and decide whether mediation is appropriate. Under section 10(1) of the children and families act 2014 it is now required in certain situations that people attend a MIAM meeting before submitting applications to obtain a court order.

The respondent is also expected to attend the MIAM and the court will adjourn any proceedings if they feel that the people involved should attempt non-court resolution procedures such as MIAM

When filing certain applications the applicant must complete the necessary forms for the filing plus confirmation from a qualified mediator that they have attended a MIAM.

There are exemptions to the rule of attempting a MIAM first and I the applicant believes an exemption applies they can submit either a confirmation from a qualified mediator that an exemption applies or a claim that a MIAM exemption applies.

If the latter is submitted all supporting documentation should be supplied at the first hearing.

MIAM’s Merseyside are particularly encouraged for family disputes such as:

  • Couples who are separating or divorcing.
  • Financial issues such as the sharing of property and assets, pensions, savings, shares and investments.
  • Parental disputes about custody, access rights and child support.
  • Parental decisions that cannot be agreed.
  • Grandparent’s rights to access to grandchildren.
  • Other family disputes
  • Business disputes such as employee disputes and director disagreements/ decision making.

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In situations such as those mentioned, and many others MIAM’s can be a much easier option that taking a case to court. The cost of a court case can be very high and with recent reductions in the availability of legal aid it is simply unobtainable for many people. MIAM’s and mediation in general can over a fixed cost alternative.
It is also a lot quicker going through the MIAM or mediation route as solutions can be achieved in as little as one or two sessions and those solutions are created by the people involved and are not imposed by a court keeping the key people in control of their own situation.
Mediators are fully qualified, trained and insured, they will remain impartial, sensitive and empathetic throughout and will facilitate the discovery of solutions that keep everyone involved as happy as possible.

As the applicant and respondent are in control of the situation when using MIAM it helps to keep the situation more relaxed and minimises stress. As everyone involved comes to an agreement instead of having a decision imposed upon them they are also much more likely to stick to the arrangement and not need future court cases or mediation.

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