MIAM stands for “Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting” and is meeting between you and a mediator to find solutions to issues such as arrangements for the children.
If you and your partner have been unable to agree what should happen with the children you cannot immediately issue a court application (unless there is genuine urgency or abuse issues). The government is keen to try and keep children issues out of court (rightly) wherever possible and so has imposed a hurdle that must be crossed first.
Before you can issue an application to see your child, or for them to live with you, or for an order affecting them on a specific issue (a “Child Arrangements Order”) you must first be assessed for alternatives to court.
What happens at a MIAM meeting?
This means meeting with a mediator (a MIAM) who should go through the options with you. In practice this often seems to mean talking about mediation but it should also include options such as collaborative law or arbitration. If the mediator, having spoken to you, thinks mediation is possible and if you agree, the mediator will then contact the other parent and invite them to the mediation process. If having met them the mediator still feels mediation is possible then a formal mediation can follow and the mediator will work with the two of you to help you find a solution.
What happens if my ex doesn’t turn up?
If the other parent doesn’t respond to the mediator’s invitation, or you don’t agree to the mediator contacting the other parent, or the mediator feels that mediation cannot take place for some other reason, the mediator then provides you with a form signed by them.
The form enables you to issue a court application so needs to be kept safe as it will need to be handed to the court. It has a “shelf life” of four months.
Stephen Root is one of Yorkshire’s leading family lawyers. Highly praised by industry guides Chambers and Partners and Legal500, he has been supporting divorcing couples for over 30 years.
Berwins' dedicated and friendly team is here to help. If you have a matter you would like to discuss with Stephen and the team, please get in touch by calling (01423) 509000 or use our contact form online and we will get back to you as soon as possible.