A MIAM is a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting with a specially qualified family mediator, who will explain to you the alternatives to the court process. Most divorcing and separating couples in England and Wales who want to use the court process to resolve any questions about children or money have to show that they have attended a MIAM before they can apply for a court order. The purpose of the meeting is to give you an opportunity to find out whether going to court would be the best way of resolving the issues surrounding your relationship or marriage breakdown (e.g. children, property and financial issues), and in particular whether mediation could be an effective alternative.

At a MIAM you will meet with a qualified family mediator, and discuss your personal situation on a confidential basis. Usually, this is a one to one meeting, although sometimes you can attend part of the meeting with your former partner if you both want to do so. As things stand, only one of you is required to attend a MIAM to talk through the alternatives to court and decide whether another route could be appropriate for you, your family and your particular circumstances. However, the other person is expected to attend when invited to do so, and the court has the power to tell the person who has refused to attend a MIAM that they must do so.

The mediator will provide information about options available to you to resolve the issues around your separation and will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option. The mediator will also ask questions, and make an assessment to decide whether or not mediation is a suitable way forward for you in your own particular circumstances

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