28 Jun

In England and Wales, MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting) is a requirement for certain types of family law cases before they can proceed to court. MIAMs were introduced as part of the Family Mediation Council's efforts to promote mediation as a first step in resolving family disputes.The court does not mandate that parties must reach a settlement through mediation, but it does require them to attend a MIAM to explore the possibility of mediation before initiating court proceedings for certain family law matters. The purpose of the MIAM is to provide parties with information about mediation, discuss whether it is suitable for their situation, and encourage them to consider mediation as an alternative to court.Here are some key points regarding MIAM in England and Wales:

  1. Requirement for certain cases: MIAM is a requirement before making an application to the court in family law cases, such as divorce, child arrangements, financial disputes, and some other family-related matters. There are exemptions to the MIAM requirement in certain circumstances, such as cases involving domestic abuse or urgent matters.
  2. Attending the MIAM: Parties are required to attend a MIAM individually or together, depending on the circumstances. During the meeting, a trained mediator provides information about the mediation process, assesses whether mediation is suitable for the case, and discusses alternative dispute resolution options.
  3. Providing the MIAM certificate: Following the MIAM, the mediator issues a MIAM certificate to the parties, whether or not they proceed with mediation. The MIAM certificate is required when making an application to the court, demonstrating that mediation was considered.
  4. Exceptions and court discretion: While attending a MIAM is generally required, there are exceptions and circumstances where the court may waive the requirement or allow the case to proceed without a MIAM certificate. For example, if there are exceptional or urgent circumstances involved, the court may grant permission to proceed without attending a MIAM.

It's important to consult the latest legislation, court rules, and seek legal advice specific to your situation to ensure compliance with the current requirements for MIAMs in England and Wales. 

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