The Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) is the first step in the mediation process. It is normally just between you and the mediator. You can bring somebody with you to the first meeting for support which lasts up to one hour. Following the meeting the other person is usually invited to also attend a separate MIAM.
The MIAM is a good opportunity for you to:
Another important part of the MIAM involves the mediator asking you questions about historic or current domestic abuse. This is to help you work out whether mediation is going to be a safe and appropriate forum. The ability to speak openly in front of the other person (often an ex-partner) without fear of reprisals or possibly further abuse is something which is explored carefully with the mediator. There will never be any pressure on you to agree to a joint session of mediation if you are not comfortable with it. There is also an option to mediate with the other person in separate rooms (called shuttle mediation) or remotely via Zoom if this is preferable. These options are also discussed in the MIAM.
Following your MIAM the mediator will invite the other person to attend a MIAM if this is what you would like. If you do not wish to take the matter further or decide that mediation is not a suitable process for you, the mediator will ensure that you have signposting information regarding other options open to you. If you wish to receive a MIAM Certificate to prove that you attended the MIAM the mediator will arrange this for you (see below).
Most people attend separate MIAMs with the mediator, although there is an option for you both to attend a joint MIAM. In this case you would both spend around 45 minutes each with the mediator separately before reconvening at the end of the joint session.
Although many people come to the MIAM with a genuine wish to mediate, some attend a MIAM as they are looking to make an application to court, either on financial or child matters. Prior to making such an application the applicant (subject to certain exemptions) must attend a MIAM and receive a MIAM Certificate. From January 2016, only a Family Mediation Council Accredited Family Mediator is authorised to sign your MIAM Certificate. All mediators working at Rathbone Family Mediation are accredited to do so.
All mediators working at Rathbone Family Mediation are accredited to sign your MIAM certificate.