Mediation FAQs


What is a MIAM or Assessment Meeting?

A Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) is a short meeting that explains what mediation is and how it can help, and gives you a chance to assess whether mediation is suitable for you.

How long does it take?

An assessment meeting lasts around 45 minutes.

How long after a MIAM can relevant court forms such as the C100 and Form A be signed?

Following a MIAM the service is allowed to sign forms relating to the case for a period of 3 months.  If 3 months has passed then there will be the need to renew the MIAM.  This period is set out by the judiciary and can not be amended by the service.

If I have a form issued by the service, how long is it valid for?

All court forms issued by the service are valid for a standard 4 calendar months.  This period is set out by the judiciary and can not be amended by the service.

Can I bring my child/children to the appointment?

We prefer you to make childcare arrangements and come alone.

Can I bring my partner/a relation/a friend for support?

We would prefer that you attend alone but if you feel you need some support you can bring someone with you to the assessment.

What happens after my assessment?

If the mediator thinks mediation is suitable for you and you want to give mediation a go, we will contact your former partner.  Once both parties have been assessed, and if you both want mediation, we will arrange a mediation for you both.  

Will I have to sit in the same room as my Ex?

The MIAM is always run as separate meetings, as the mediator wants to listen to both parties to get a balanced view from the start. 

If the conclusion is that mediation is the best way to help you, then we try and run mediation in one room as it is helpful that both parties are present to hear each others' viewpoint.  However, we understand that this is not always possible, in which case we would accommodate you by setting up a shuttle mediation, in which the two parties are in separate rooms and the mediator moves between the two rooms.  We are also able to stagger arrival and departure times to reduce the stress of mediation. 

My Ex has organised mediation, does that mean they will have the upper hand?

No, mediation is about you both having a chance to speak and to be listened to.  The mediator uses their experience and training to help ensure that both parties are able to reach an agreed decision.  Both parties are treated as equals throughout the process. 

I've been told I have to go through mediation before I can go to court, is that correct?

In the majority of cases, yes.  Mediation is not only cheaper and faster than decisions made through the court system,  the outcomes can be stronger too, since the end result is created by your joint decisions.  Due to these reasons the UK system for divorce means that you have to attend a MIAM meeting before you can submit your paperwork to court.  There are one or two exemptions to this. 

I would like to mediate in regards to the family assets but I'm not ready to do that regarding the children.  Can I just cover one element in mediation?

Mediation is designed to cover the issues relevant to you.  This means you can cover assets, or issues relating to children, or both.  The training and experience of the mediators means that they are equally qualified to cover all of these mediation options.  The MIAM meeting will explore these options and identify which elements of the separation mediation would be best suited to help you. 

We were never married, is mediation suitable for dealing with our relationship breakdown?

Yes, mediation can be used for a  broad range of family situations.  Marriage is one, but mediation can be used in almost all relationship situations.  For example; our team often work with grandparents who would like access to their grandchildren. 

Is mediation effective?

Yes.  Of the cases that go to mediation, we experience in our service over 80% reaching an agreement on the issues identified.  This is normally achieved in two mediation sessions only. 

Skype Mediation

Skype allows mediation to take place without the parties coming into a meeting venue.  If you would like to try this approach, then please raise this when you call to make a reservation.  If you don't currently use Skype it is easy to set up on your laptop, iPad, Xbox, Amazon Alexa device or phone.

Follow this link to set up Skype.

Complaints procedure

We are always looking to improve our service to ensure that clients have a positive experience.  However, on occasion something may happen that means the service has not been as a client may expect.  In these situations please contact the team in the first instance by phone or email to discuss the situation. 

If the service is unable to deal appropriately with your issues then we have a complaints process that we would encourage you to review and follow. 

NFMS Complaints Policy 2018.pdf

You may need to bring along documents - find out what will be helpful to bring before attending your meeting

I'm attending a MIAM - what should I bring along?

When you attend a MIAM you don't need to bring any information along with you.  These meetings are about assessing the overall situation, finding out if mediation could work for you, introducing you to mediation and explaining how it works. 

The detailed information will be needed in subsequent meetings. 

I think I may be eligible for Legal Aid, will I need to bring any information along?

To establish whether you are eligible for legal aid for mediation, you can take a look at the Legal Aid Calculator www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

If you would like us to assess whether you are eligible for Legal Aid in your mediation assessment meeting (MIAM), you will need to bring certain documents as evidence along to this meeting.  This is really important as we cannot assess you without them.  Here is a current checklist of documents you will need to bring: Legal Aid Information of Clients current.  Please  note that you must bring paper copies, so that we can photocopy your evidence for our records; online or phone records are not sufficient.  If you are unable to bring a paper copy, please contact us to arrange sending an email copy prior to your assessment meeting.

If the assessment finds you are not eligible for Legal Aid, or if you are unable to produce the evidence needed to assess you, you will be charged our standard rates.

What should I bring along for Child Only Mediation?

In most situations you will not need to bring along any supporting documentation for these meetings. 

What do I bring for Property and Finance Issues Mediation?

At the MIAM meeting you will have been given or been sent an AIM pack.  This includes forms that need to be completed prior to the mediation meeting and additional information that you need to bring along.  It is important that this pack is completed and brought to the mediation meeting. 

If you feel you need one of these packs but have not been given one then please contact us. 

What should I bring for All Issues Mediation?

At the MIAM meeting you will have been given or been sent an AIM pack.  This includes forms that need to be completed prior to the mediation meeting and additional information that you need to bring along.  It is important that this pack is completed and brought to the mediation meeting. 

If you feel you need one of these packs but have not been given one then please contact us.