MIAMS with Kate

MIAMS with Kate

06 Jul 2018
What a first meeting is really like?
So you have decided to find out more about mediation and have decided to go for a First Meeting (also known as MIAM) and you’ve had a look at the website but actually what you really want to know, is what is this appointment like.   
Once you have made the decision to separate or divorce, these first few stages are tricky to navigate and we just want to reassure you that our experts will guide you through this.  Simply the idea of getting together with your ex to talk things through might well fill you with dread, but Dianne and Kate are both experienced family solicitors as well as mediators and are well trained to work with people whose relationships have broken down. Everything you discuss within the mediation is confidential, that means you can think of mediation as a ‘safe space’, to explore options with your ex that you may not otherwise have been willing to consider. Discussions that take place in mediation cannot be held against you or referred to at a later stage.
The Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting is the first step to see if mediation could be right for you and your situation.   Prior to the first meeting we will send out some information to read over and a copy of the Mediation Agreement we go through in the meeting, but allows you to think about this before the meeting.   Dianne and Kate spend this first appointment taking you through the process so you understand how it works, if it would work for you and gives you an opportunity to ask your own questions.
Here’s an overview of what we will go through with you in the meeting:
  • Explain the process of mediation in terms of each meeting and how, as mediators, we work with you (and in some cases with your children). We are even-handed in our approach and will help you both gather information about your assets and arrangements to discuss how the split might work moving forward, talking through different options and ‘reality checking’ any proposals to ensure if agreed, they will work for you both.
  • We help you and your ex to get passed a ‘stale mate’.
  • Review the alternative processes available to you such as collaborative law, solicitor negotiation, arbitration or court proceedings, before you commit to mediation.
  • Talk about your situation and circumstances and will give you information about additional support services and resources if you need them, for example to support the children, counselling services and parenting support.
  • Go through the financial costs of mediation and if legal aid is available, sign post you accordingly to a legal aid mediator.
  • Address any concerns you might have about the process. The process is tailored by you and your situation and relies on both clients taking part voluntarily.
  • Discuss your willingness to be open and honest and to negotiate with your ex to bring about an amicable result to work for you both.  It is a commitment needed to make the process work by both parties.
If you both want to mediate after your individual information meetings a joint session will be organised and at the first joint meetings, all parties will sign the Agreement to mediate committing to the mediation process and to cooperate fully to seek a workable solution to their separation.
To find out more about the benefits of mediation, check out our previous blog here.  or call the team on 01937 547020 to answer any questions you might have.   

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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