Family Mediation Week – What happens in a MIAM?


23rd January 2024

Mediation has become more mainstream in recent years, but it is still not surprising that those accessing information about mediation for the first time do not understand the principles or process. This Family Mediation Week, 22-26 January, we hope to explain some basic principles, including what happens in a Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAM).

An initial meeting, individually with each client, is the first step in a mediation. These are often referred to as MIAMs. They are individual, private and confidential meetings a mediator will have with each person prior to any joint sessions of mediation starting.

The purpose of the MIAM is:

  • To explain to each person the various alternatives to Court that are available to separating or divorcing couples, including mediation, and the possible advantages and disadvantages to these.
  • To give each person an opportunity to decide if going to Court would be the best way to resolve the issues surrounding relationship breakdown, including but not limited to children, property and financial issues.
  • To explore whether mediation would be a safe and effective alternative to Court in each person’s specific circumstances.

The mediator will ask each person questions, and make an assessment to decide whether or not mediation might be a suitable way forward for each individual. It is not the case that mediation is suitable for everyone, however the mediator will ensure that all options are considered, and each individual’s preference is heard.

Initial meetings, or MIAMs, are confidential between each person and the mediator. This enables the mediator to make the assessment described above, and ensures that all relevant information is shared. There are limited exceptions to confidentiality, including safeguarding concerns and criminality.

At the end of the initial meeting, each person should leave with an understanding of the mediation process, together with information about the various non-Court options available to them.

If suitable, the mediator will then contact both parties, and invite them to make an appointment for a joint meeting.

For more information on mediation or to book a MIAM, contact Rachel Giles or the Family team.

See how Family Mediation Services can help

Speak to one of our Family Mediators

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