What is a MIAM?
In recent years the courts have imposed a requirement in most family cases that parties attempt to resolve matters through mediation prior to making an application to the court. There are exceptions to this rule however when there are issues of domestic violence, child protection concerns, urgency or special circumstances.
What is the process?
The party must firstly identify a MIAM provider in their respective area. By typing “Family Mediation” in to a search engine a list of providers in your area is presented for your consideration. Once first contact is made a referral form is usually provided which is completed and returned to the provider.
Upon making your referral the Mediator will contact both parties and assess whether it is a suitable case for mediation. In the affirmative a joint meeting will be arranged to mediate between the parties. In cases where matters are volatile, separate rooms can be provided and the Mediator will go back and forth between the parties to try to reach an agreement.
In cases where mediation is not appropriate or agreement can’t be reached the applicant party will be provided with an FM1. Once this form is received the party may make their application to the court if they so wish.
Once signed off by the Mediator, the party has 3 months to rely upon it when issuing their application.
How much will it cost?
This will vary between providers ranging from £75 + VAT to £180 + VAT per session.
Legal Help is however available for mediation. If you believe you may be entitled to this simply mention it to the Mediator at first contact and they will assess your eligibility for the same.
MIAM was unsuccessful – what next?
Here at Farleys Solicitors our experienced family law team recognise the urgency and importance of ensuring you are provided with appropriate legal advice. Please contact us if you have attended mediation and are in receipt of the FM1 to discuss your next options.
We have offices in Blackburn, Burnley, Accrington, Preston and Manchester, contact us today for an appointment on 0845 287 0939 or complete our online contact form.