Mediation and MIAMS


Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMS) became compulsory in April 2011 for people wishing to issue family court proceedings about finances on divorce or children matters, unless they are exempt from the requirement. The government’s aim in introducing MIAMS was to raise awareness of family mediation as a cost-effective and positive way of resolving family issues without involving the courts. Mediation itself is not compulsory, but it is compulsory for an applicant to attend a MIAM with a mediator.
At the MIAM the Mediator will explain what mediation is and how it works. They will also discuss other ways of resolving your family disputes and provide you with information that is helpful to you in your circumstances.
 
The MIAM will also be used by the mediator to assess :-
  1. Whether your case is suitable for mediation. There are a number of factors that might make a case unsuitable, such as domestic violence, risk of child abduction or other vulnerability.
  2. Whether you are willing to try mediation as a way of sorting out your dispute or whether there might be a better way, and
  3. Whether you will qualify for free mediation, under the Legal Aid scheme. Hartlaw does not offer publicly funded mediation but we will be able to tell you if you are eligible and if so we can help you to find a mediator that can. 
If your case is suitable and you wish to go ahead, we will of course need to make sure that the other person in your case is also willing, and we will invite them to a MIAM as well. Only when we are satisfied that the mediation is unsuitable or the parties are unwilling will we be able to sign the court form enabling an application to the Court to continue.
 
If you are both willing to try mediation, and your case is suitable, we will book your first session in the normal way.

 

Setting up a MIAMS with Hartlaw LLP


You can set up a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting with or without the help of a solicitor. Please download, complete and return our mediation referral form  with our fee, or alternatively your solicitor can do this on your behalf. (Click MIAMS referrals from Solicitors.)
 
Our fee for dealing with the Pre Application Protocol referral and MIAM is £100 inclusive of VAT for each of the parties to the mediation. This fee is payable by the person making the referral at the time that the referral is made. The fee will be payable by the other party before his or her MIAM. If after assessment either of you are eligible for Legal Aid then the fee of £100 will be returned to each of you.
 
The meeting will usually take around 45 minutes to an hour.
 
If the MIAM does not go ahead because the other party refuses to attend then half of the fee will be refunded and the court form will be completed and returned to you or your solicitor.

Online Mediation


Due to the Coronavirus crisis face to face sessions are not possible. This is however not a new process for us at Hartlaw.  We have previously offered online/remote mediation sessions for parties who live far apart or where face to face mediation is not suitable.  This has allowed us to offer our services to clients no matter where they are based.  We are now using this more regularly and can offer you reassurance that it is a simple process to set up and as long as you have access to the internet is available to everyone.
 
If you would like more details about Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings you can call Dianne on 01937 547003 or Kate on 01937 547037 for a confidential initial discussion, or email them on dianne@hartlaw.co.uk or  kate@hartlaw.co.uk
 
 

News From Our Blog

Coronavirus - update

Please be advised in accordance with Government guidelines we have taken the difficult yet important decision to prioritise our staff and clients’ health and wellbeing in light of the Coronavirus. As such we have made temporary changes to our working patterns. Please be assured so far as is possible we are still operating ‘business as usual’ although to protect everyone, we are now largely working from home and conducting meetings remotely/electronically. In order to minimise any potential risk to our staff and our valued clients, our main office will not be open to the public and we would appreciate where possible, any correspondence to be sent via email to your case manager directly or to our central address which is info@hartlaw.co.uk
 
Please avoid sending any payments by cheque and instead send all payments directly to us via bank transfer or make payments over the telephone to 01937 547004.
 
Please note any emails and/or telephone calls to your case manager will still be accessed as normal and your case will be progressed.  We are sure that you understand in the current circumstances, your case may be passed on to an alternative fee earner.
 
Please also note than any email communication during this time will automatically be copied to one of our partners as well as your case manager. 
 
Our central office telephone number 01937 547000 is still being operated as normal during our business hours of 9am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday.
 
On behalf of all of the partners and team at Hartlaw LLP, we thank you for your continued support during these difficult times. Please be assured we remain committed to providing the highest quality of service and legal advice to our clients and the local community and we hope that you all stay safe and look after each other.