Reflecting on the start to 2019, people who are separating I have seen this month, wish to find out about how they can move forward and to try to understand how that might work.
How do we get started?
The first step is to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM.) Sometimes your solicitor will have told you that you need to see a mediator to get the court form signed, or you need to get your MIAM form. The court rules expect that separating couples, or parents, attend a MIAM meeting so that they can have the opportunity of finding out how they can get on with their lives, and out of their current difficult situation.
Part of the MIAM meeting is used by me to give you information about the mediation process and answer any questions you may have, and I assess whether the process is suitable. This gives me an opportunity to find out a bit about what is going on for you and what needs sorting out. After that, we can set up a joint mediation session if we all agree that this is the best way forward.
In case it doesn’t look like the best way forward, I also talk to you about other options. This does not just mean Court. That is not the only option. There are all sorts of options I can give you information about ranging from different types of mediation to bringing your solicitors along for a One Day Lawyer Assisted Mediation.
There are also other options to help you get towards a solution that works for you, such as jointly instructing an expert to give you an ‘Early Neutral Evaluation’. In that option it can be really helpful to ask an expert, often a specialist Family law barrister, to say what they would decide if they were your Judge or Arbitrator.
Finally, if you really do think that you need someone else to decide for you then you can either choose to ask an Arbitrator to decide for you, or you can apply to the Family Court.
After the MIAM you can think about what might work best for you, and take legal advice. It is really important that you can talk to your solicitor.
Next time- what to expect in the first mediation session:
- Getting mediation started
- Issues to bring to mediation
- Get on with your own lives
Emma Bugg, Lawyer Mediator, mediates from our Hemel Hempstead & St Albans offices.
Call us on 01908 231132 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or to book a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM) (11 Locations; Milton Keynes, Bedford, Broxbourne, Hemel Hempstead, London, Northampton, Oxford, Potters Bar, St Albans, Harrow and Watford).
Read more about family mediation at: www.focus-mediation.co.uk