What is family mediation?
Family mediation is a private process aimed at enabling separating or divorcing couples and parents to reach agreement on how to care for any children of the relationship and how to share joint property. The mediation process may start before court proceedings are initiated or afterwards.
Research shows that children are most affected by separation and divorce when they experience conflict around them, and become aware that their parents are unable to agree about what is going to happen to them. Court battles are very costly and may increase the bad feeling between parents.
Mediation offers a private place for parents to talk through the arrangements for their children, with the support of a mediator. Mediators do not tell you what to do, but help you make decisions for yourself.
Mediators will help you agree a parenting plan for child(ren). This can cover areas such as:
- Where the children will live
- How much time they will spend with each parent
- What arrangements you will make for holidays and special events such as birthdays, Christmas and other holidays
- How you keep the arrangements flexible and review them as your children get older
- How you will make joints decisions about schools and their general welfare
Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAM)
If you are in dispute with your ex, or are having difficulties settling your separation, you may be thinking about court proceedings.
But you may be required to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). The aim of the meeting is to see if mediation could be used to resolve your difficulties, rather than to court.
What is a Mediation information and assessment Meeting?
The MIAM is a meeting between you and a mediator to find out if there are alternative ways to find solutions to your problems.
The mediator will explain to you:
- what your options might be
- what mediation is, and how it works
- the benefits of mediation and other appropriate forms of resolving disputes
- the likely costs of using mediation
The meeting can be between the mediator and just you, or with your ex-partner too. The meeting usually lasts around 45 minutes.
What happens after the meeting?
The mediator will be able to tell you if your case is suitable for mediation. If it is, he or she will advise you of the next steps.