What is family mediation?
Family mediation is a confidential form of dispute resolution for separating couples. A mediator is a neutral third party who is trained to help a couple resolve issues surrounding their separation such as finances and the children. A mediator should help you to clarify what areas you agree on, and what issues need to be addressed. Mediators can give legal information, but will not give advice to either party as they are impartial and will therefore not ‘take sides’.
What issues can be dealt with in family mediation?
You can cover all aspects of separation in mediation, such as finances, children and the divorce itself, rather than potentially having separate court proceedings for each issue. Mediation is child focused and the welfare of any children is put at the forefront of any discussions.
What is a MIAM?
A MIAM (Mediation Information Assessment Meeting) is a meeting between you and a mediator to find out if there are alternative ways to find solutions to your issues. The meeting can be between the mediator and just you or with both you and your ex-partner.
The mediator will explain the following to you:
If you are in a dispute with your ex-partner and are considering court proceedings, you are now required to attend a MIAM before an application can be made to the court. The courts are required to know that mediation has been considered as a method of resolving your difficulties prior to issuing an application.
How do I know if mediation is right for us?
Speak to a mediator. The process is not right for everyone, but after speaking to you both, a mediator will be able to assess whether they think that it is the correct forum for you to deal with your disputes.
Caroline Mills is an experienced family solicitor, collaborative lawyer and mediator. She is also able to conduct MIAMs and is happy to discuss the options available to you and your partner, to help decide what might be most suitable in your family’s particular circumstances. You can reach her on 020 8944 5290.