Initial private consultations known as 'MIAMS'
Whether you are considering going to court or are interested in mediation, the first thing to do is contact Forum Mediation to arrange a confidential consultation (called a MIAM) in one of our venues convenient to you.
This is not mediation as you do not attend the meeting with your ex, and you see the mediator alone. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss what needs to be resolved, and to check whether or not mediation is appropriate in your case. If you wish to try and sort things in mediation, only then will the other party be invited to have their own private meeting with the mediator. Mediators need to understand the background to the case and do not take sides. If both parties are willing a joint mediation session can be arranged. In some cases where separation is amicable, joint initial meetings can be considered.
If you believe your ex will not mediate we can invite them first for their private consultation – therefore discovering if mediation is a possibility.
If mediation is not to proceed, we will be able to discuss the next steps and sign any appropriate court forms. Family mediation continues to be voluntary.
MIAMs are now a necessity if either party is considering going to court over family matters.
Courts want to know that you have considered mediation before they proceed with your application because research has shown that agreements made in mediation last longer and are better for any children concerned than those imposed on parties in court. Although the mediation process is not legally binding, the outcome can be converted into a legally binding agreement in a court order if required. It is also common knowledge that contested legal battles are very expensive, more stressful and take much, much longer with no guarantees.
To check whether you have to attend click MIAM exceptions