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If you are in dispute with your former partner or spouse or are experiencing difficulties in settling your separation or divorce you may consider that your only option is to go to Court. Before an application can be made to Court, you are required ( in most circumstances) to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (‘MIAM’.)

The aim of MIAMs are to consider whether mediation is an option for you and your ex and to try and resolve your difficulties, as opposed to immediately going to Court to litigate issues.

During the initial MIAMs meeting, the mediator will explain to you:

  • What mediation is and how it works
  • The benefits of mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution
  • The likely costs of mediation and whether you are eligible for Legal Aid.

A MIAMs will take place between you and the mediator on your own and then a further MIAM meeting will take place with your former partner or spouse and the mediator. You can self refer yourself to a mediator or if you are instructing a solicitor they can recommend and refer a mediator for you.,

The mediator will also discuss, generally, with you and your ex-partner or spouse the issues which are in dispute.

What happens next?

After the meeting, the mediator will be able to advise whether they feel your case is suitable for mediation. If so, the mediator will advise you of the next steps. Remember – mediation, in many circumstances, can be a cost effective way of settling a dispute.

What happens if mediation is deemed unsuitable?

If it is felt your case is not suitable for mediation, the mediator will supply you with a form which confirms you have attended a MIAM. The Court will then allow you to issue proceedings.

Remember – whilst a mediation agreement is not legally binding such an agreement can used for a Consent Order. It is very important that both parties get independent legal advice about this, in order to fully understand the implications of making a Consent Order which deals with the financial consequence of your marriage breakdown and is lodged at court once your Decree Nisi has been pronounced.

At Ramsdens we offer advice and assistance to clients following separation. We can advise you in relation to all aspects of family law. Our Solicitors are resolution trained Solicitors and have a non-confrontational approach to dealing with matters in the best interests of clients.

We understand that going through a separation is emotionally difficult and can be upsetting. We are here to help you throughout the whole process. To book an appointment contact our Family Helpline on 08000 147720, email family@ramsdens.co.uk or text LAW to 67777 to book a free thirty minute consultation at any of our offices across West Yorkshire. We also offer early morning and late evening appointments across our 12 offices.