Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings
Since 7 April 2011, changes in family law mean that couples are now obliged to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting (MIAM) before they are allowed to commence court proceedings to resolve disputes regarding their children or financial matters.The rationale for this is that mediation will enable couples to resolve matters amicably by means of negotiation rather than having to go to court which can be extremely traumatic as well as emotionally and financially draining.
If a couple are unable to agree the arrangements for their children or finances, it is now compulsory that they attend an initial assessment with a professional family mediator. It is the responsibility of the spouse initiating the case to engage the mediator and a meeting will then be arranged with the couple either individually or together.
The mediator is an impartial, third party who negotiates between the couple in order to establish what will work best for the family as a whole as well as each individual member. The mediator will obtain the relevant details of finances and encourage both sides to make a fair and practical agreement which will be acceptable to both parties.
The focus on achieving a resolution in a non-aggressive manner can be particularly important if children are involved as establishing a non-antagonistic relationship between their parents can have a huge impact on their lives.