Lead Forensics
Prettys Solicitors Ipswich

Family law


If you have a family dispute and are looking for the best way to find a resolution, mediation services may be the answer. Prettys can advise you and help you to find the best way forward.

What is a MIAM?

MIAM stands for Mediation, Information and Assessment Meeting.  It is an appointment in which you meet with a mediator to discuss all forms of resolution available to you (but assessing for mediation first) so you can make an informed choice about which way forward may suit you best.  It is your opportunity to ask questions about these processes and for the mediator to discuss with you whether your case is suitable for mediation, if this is what you choose to pursue.   Think of it as a screening process to look at what route is best for your case.

Do I have to go to a MIAM?

If you want to bring a court application for dividing assets or children matters you will need to attend a MIAM to show the Judge that you understand and have explored the options available in resolving matters, outside of court. There are reasonable excuses for starting a court application without first attending a MIAM, but if the judge thinks that you could have and should have attended a MIAM he can adjourn your court application until you have attended.  The mediator should sign the court application to confirm your attendance at a MIAM.

Even if you think court is the only option, the MIAM is an opportunity to reflect with a trained mediator on all of the options.

How long will the MIAM appointment take?

Usually 30-60 minutes.

Do my ex-partner and I have to attend together?

No, you normally attend separately.

How much will a MIAM cost?

Please see our legal costs information for the present cost.  We do not offer legal aid MIAMs.

What if my ex-partner refuses to attend his/her MIAM.

If the outcome of the MIAM is that you now are applying to the court then your ex-partner refusing to attend does not stop you being able to start the court process.  If however the MIAM’s mediator assesses with you that the case is suitable for mediation, or any other dispute resolution process, then your ex-partner needs to agree to attend a similar session to yours with the MIAM’s mediator to check there is an agreed way forward.

Do I have to cover the cost for each of us to attend a MIAM?

No.  Either one of you can pay for your own or choose to pay for both.  The cost of what happens from that point is normally one of the first issues discussed at any subsequent first joint meeting to allow each person to understand affordability.

I would like to try mediation services but I am worried if they are suitable?

It is the job of the MIAM’s mediator to help you talk about your concerns/hopes/fears about reaching solutions by sitting in a room with your ex-partner, together with a mediator.  The mediator wants you to have a process that is most likely to work for you and this means exploring the difficult aspects as well as the positive aspects.  There is proper screening for issues by one party or the other of fear; anger; abuse; guilt; imbalance of financial information; relationship vulnerability with children; concern that one person or other will be more effective at “persuading” the mediator to his/her point of view.  All of this is taken into account in deciding a sensible outcome.

What should I do next?

All of the solicitors in the Family Team are mediators, helping clients in Ipswich, Chelmsford and other areas of Suffolk, Essex and East Anglia. Call us on 01473 232121, request a call back here or e-mail us here for further details.


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