Since the Law changed on 22nd April 2014, most divorcing and separating couples in England and Wales who want to go to court to resolve any question about finances or children have to show that they have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before they can apply for a court order.

Only specially qualified and accredited mediators can conduct MIAMs. The purpose of the meeting is to give you the opportunity to find out about whether mediation could be an effective alternative to going to court.

A MIAM is usually a one to one meeting with the mediator. The mediator will provide information about the options available to you to resolve the issues arising on your divorce or separation. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you have about the mediation process, and to tell the mediator about your particular circumstances.

Currently many people think that the only way to resolve issues following relationship or marriage breakdown is to go to court. This is not the case. Going to court is expensive, stressful and likely to be emotionally draining for all concerned. The outcome is also uncertain, and it can take many months to reach the stage where the judge will make a decision.

There are alternatives to going to court – such as mediation and collaborative family law. The purpose of making MIAMs compulsory is so that separating or divorcing couples, can learn about the benefits of out of court processes.

If everyone agrees to try mediation then the mediator will make a first appointment at which you both will attend. If mediation is not suitable, then the mediator can sign the necessary court form to show that you considered mediation. This means that you can then take your case to court.

Only in certain very specific circumstances such as where there is evidence of domestic violence, can you go to court without first having had to attend a MIAM.

To find out more about how mediation works please click here 

If you would like to speak to our accredited family mediator please contact 01923 631401 or email to

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