coventry family mediators

Mediation Information

Assessment Meetings -

what are they?

When you’re in the midst of a separation or divorce, the emotional pain of relationship breakdown can often make it incredibly difficult to reach an agreement with your ex about crucial issues such as how to divide up money or arrangements concerning the children. It can be tempting to take things to court and allow a judge to make decisions. However, the law states that before you can go to court, you have to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM).


Judges have to make sure that everything has been done to try and get to an agreement between couples before they appear in court. Going to court is expensive and can involve significant delay, and having a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting is just the first part of this process. During the first meeting, an impartial and trained family mediator will talk through the situation and help you both decide whether mediation might be useful in your case.


The law states that your application for a hearing about a family law issue cannot be considered until mediation has been considered first. If at the initial meeting a coventry family mediators feels that mediation would be a good solution in your particular case, it is usually best that you go along with their advice. If you decide to go straight to court without any attempt at mediation, and without a good reason for refusing to get involved in mediation, if the judge sees that mediation has been rejected by one partner, then the final judgement may well be affected. In short, if you unreasonably refuse the possibility of family mediation, you could find that your settlement ends up being adversely affected.


What does a MIAM meeting actually involve?

At the beginning of a MIAM, the mediator will firstly explain how the process is intended to work, the benefits of going through family mediation and talk about the options which might be appropriate in your case. They will also discuss what other alternatives there may be to come to an agreement, and explain the costs of the mediation sessions. They will also be able to tell you whether you are one of the increasingly small number of people who are eligible for Legal Aid, or free mediation sessions.


If you don’t want to even be in the same room as your partner, then the mediator can arrange this. You can meet alone with the mediator, who will then speak to each partner separately. The Mediation Information Assessment Meeting usually lasts for around 45 minutes, and should be treated as a fact-finding meeting to help you decide whether mediation could help in your circumstances. If you feel that it will, you can then arrange to have follow-up mediation sessions to go into the issues in more depth and try to reach a compromise agreement which everyone is happy with.


If you do not think that family mediation is appropriate in your case, then you will be asked to sign a form saying that you have been through the MIAM and want to take things to court. This can be used to show the judge that you have tried to settle things through mediation but that the mediator felt it would be impossible to reach an agreement.


Coventry family mediation is for many people, though not all, usually a cheaper, quicker, less stressful and more positive way of trying to move things forward with your divorce. Using any mediation allows you to start to move on into a new chapter of your life without the hassle and stress of impending divorce proceedings. It can make a real difference to the pain of relationship breakdown.