Step 1 – Why you’ll need a MIAM.
Just about anyone who wants to make a family court application must have a MIAM first. MIAM is short for Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. MIAMs can only be conducted by accredited family mediators.
MIAMs were introduced because it was widely recognised by the government and by the courts that too many people were choosing court to settle their disputes rather than find ways of settling them themselves, such as through mediation. For many disputants, going to court tends to take a long time, can be expensive if lawyers are involved and gives control over the final outcome to a third party – a judge. Maintaining courts for every dispute costs the state a great deal of money.
There are some applicants who will be exempt from attending a MIAM. If we believe you are exempt, we’ll let you know and you won’t need an appointment.
Step 2 – Get in touch
If you have been told you need a MIAM by a lawyer, or by a judge or the court, or you knew you needed one anyway, we can help.
Call us for a free confidential chat to find out if you need one. Or to speed things up, you can fill in our confidential online form first. Your answers will provide us with contact details and information about the nature of your problem. Once we have your form, we’ll be in touch to arrange an appointment.
Step 3 – Meet us
Your appointment with us will be confidential and private. It will allow us to listen to your point of view about your problem or dispute. We are required by law to explain the different ways in which problems or disputes like yours can be approached. This mainly means through mediation, solicitors, arbitration or court.
One of our accredited mediators, (who are also non-practising solicitors), will meet you for up to 60 minutes. The meeting can take place either at our wheelchair accessible consulting rooms in Ipswich, or over video Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp.
We’ll aim to provide an estimate of how long mediation, the court, solicitors or any other process might take, and what they each might cost.
We’ll explain: what the courts expect of litigants; and why there is an expectation that the other person should be invited to their own MIAM before court proceedings are started.
I attended Start Mediation for the purposes of a MIAM meeting in what is a complex and difficult case. Stephen provided a thorough, thoughtful, challenging session that examined the issues and my beliefs and assumptions carefully as well as providing some solid and valuable advice for management of my situation on an ongoing basis. Highly recommended.JB 2017
Step 4 – The cost
Our office hours confidential appointment rate costs £120. There is no VAT and there are no hidden extras. It includes not just your meeting with us, but our preparation and a PDF court certificate.
The office hours rate applies for any appointment starting Monday to Friday at 9.00 am UK time or later, with the last appointment ending by 5.30 pm.
We also offer out of hours confidential appointments over the internet using FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp or Zoom.
They are available Monday to Friday from 7.30 am UK time, with the last appointment ending by 9.00 pm UK time; and on Saturdays, from 10.00 am UK time with the last appointment ending by 1.30 pm UK time.
The out of hours rate is £200. Just like our office hours rate, there is no VAT and there and no hidden extras. It includes not just your meeting with us, but our preparation and a PDF court certificate.
Complete our online form now to get things started
Step 5 – What happens afterwards
If you decide you don’t want to mediate, we will send you a certificate to enable you to make a court application.
On the other hand, if you decide you would like to mediate, we will work out what components your mediation might need. This includes the likely length of any session and any steps which we’d like you to complete before your first session. We’ll then get in touch to arrange your first session.
We offer fixed prices to provide certainty about costs. But for those who prefer an hourly rate, we charge £95 per person per hour.