Either your ex wants to mediate
You have received an invitation from us to attend a MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. This will be because your ex has already met with us. They will have met with us, usually, for one of two reasons.
They want to mediate with you. You have a shared problem or dispute and your ex feels you both need some professional help to address it. It might be something to do with the ending of your relationship, or the time your children spend with each of you.
They met with a mediator to find out more about mediation and to find out if it might be suitable. And now the mediator has written to you inviting you to a similar confidential meeting.
Or they wanted to go to court
Alternatively, your ex wanted to make a court application. They know, or were told by someone else, that they had to meet with a mediator first for a MIAM.
The purpose of a MIAM is to help people understand that there are ways to sort out problems other than by going to court.
It may be the case that, after meeting the mediator, your ex decided that mediation was a better option than court. That’s why you received your own MIAM invitation.
MIAMs and the law
Should you have your own confidential MIAM or not? That’s something for you to decide. It may help if we explained the law. The law says that it is a requirement for a person to attend a MIAM before making certain court applications. It goes on to state that the person who would be the respondent (defendant) to the application is also expected to attend a MIAM.
If the person who would be the respondent choses not to attend a MIAM, what would this mean? Well, the mediator is required to provide the first person they meet with a certificate for court (see image right).
While nobody can be forced to mediate, judges have the power to order anyone who hasn’t already attended an individual MIAM to attend one. They should suspend the court proceedings whilst this happens. Would you want to face a judge knowing that you have turned down an opportunity to sort things out amicably?
One of the things we’ll ask you to do before we make you an appointment is to fill in our confidential online form. Filling in our form will mean we won’t spend 20-30 minutes of your initial meeting with us asking you for basic information
Once we have your form, an accredited mediator, who is also a non-practising solicitor, will meet you for 45-60 minutes.
The meetings can be at our wheelchair accessible consulting rooms in Ipswich or we can meet you over Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp video.
These meetings allow us to listen, provide information and carry out suitability and safety checks. We’ll listen to you explain things from your point of view, help you understand your options and how mediation works. We’ll also aim to give you an estimate of how long mediation might take and what it might cost.
During your MIAM appointment, you decide whether you are willing to try mediation or not. At the end of your appointment, you are entirely free to tell the mediator that you do not wish to try mediation. The mediator will not force you to start mediation if you do not want to. You will be sent a court certificate if you tell us you want one.
Complete our online form now to get things started
Each confidential individual meeting costs £130 including VAT per person. There are no hidden extras. These prices include not just your meeting with us, but our preparation and writing to the person you want to mediate with, as well as phoning them if needed.
What happens afterwards
If you’ve told us that you are willing to try mediation, we then go away and work out what components your mediation might need. This includes the likely length of the first session and any steps which we’d like you to complete beforehand. We’ll then be in touch to arrange your first joint meting with your ex. We offer fixed prices to provide certainty about costs. But for those who prefer an hourly rate, we charge £95 + VAT per person per hour.