Talking to your partner about the practicalities of separation or divorce can be difficult. If you’re a parent there are lots of decisions and plans to make for your children and in some cases couples just can’t agree a way forward.
Even if you have a good relationship with your partner, conversations about your children and money can result in arguments. In some cases communication can break down completely leaving you unable to come to a resolution. In all of these cases Mediation can help.
Mediation usually requires both you and your partner to attend the sessions. Mediation gives both parties the opportunity to talk in a safe environment and deal with the practicalities that come with separation.
The first meeting or Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM)
The first meeting with a mediator gives you the chance to find out how mediation works. Mediators are trained to work out with you whether mediation is right for you and your family. They will also discuss how many sessions you may need, how much they would cost.
The mediatior can also give you information about other services that provide help and support and the other options you might have to resolve things.
Do I have to go to a MIAM?
If you want to take your case to court, it is now – in most cases – a legal requirement to attend a MIAM. The other person involved is also expected to attend a MIAM, but they don’t have to go to the same meeting as you. There are exemptions that mean you might not have to go to a MIAM. It can also be agreed at the MIAM that mediation isn’t right for you.
Who goes to the meeting?
These meetings can be held separately from your ex. However you can go to the meeting together if you prefer. You can choose. Time will always be spent with each person alone to make sure they have made their own decision to come to mediation and are not at risk of any harm or abuse.
What happens after the first meeting?
If everyone agrees to try mediation then an appointment is made for your first mediation session. If you decide not to continue into mediation or it’s not suitable in your circumstances then the mediator will sign a C100 form, to show you have considered mediation. This means you can take your case to court, if that’s what you decide to do next.
Please note we do not offer Legal Aid