MIAMS/FM1 information page
New procedures have been introduced by the Government for couples wishing to apply for a court order related to children financial circumstances in case of the breakdown of a family. Before such a claim can be made to the court, spouses will have to have attended a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting with an agreed mediator and get a Form FM1 to prove that they have done so.
MIAM mini guide
The final point is to guarantee that both spouses have seriously considered mediation to try to solve their differences. It is generally acknowledged that the regular adversarial court process is an expensive and, above all, a long and painful one when ex couples fight for the resolution of their family disputes. In fact, when both parties have previously asked for information or advice about how mediation can help them in the long term, the amount of court applications gets drastically reduced. A mediator will guide ex couples in the process to reach an adequate settlement.
As for the mediator, his target should always be to explain the couple how mediation works so that the right estimation can be made to help them decide whether mediation would be suitable in their particular circumstances. This meeting with the mediator can be held with one of the parties alone or with both at the same time, but partners should be h4ly warned against this last possibility in case of domestic violence issues.
What to do after a MIAMS?
After attending a MIAMS, both parties get the chance to reconsider if what they really want is to go on with the mediation procedure and, in this case, several more meetings with the mediator should take place so as to concentrate on the couple’s disputes and this time, the presence of both in the couple is highly recommended. After all this procedure gets to an end, the moderator will elaborate a document including all of the points in the agreement that have been successfully reached and will use it as the starting point of a court order in the divorce process.
In case those in the couple decide not to go through mediation but would rather have the matter proceed through the court, the form FM1 will be issued to them by the mediator, so that now both parties may proceed with legal hearings. This FM1 must be presented to court by one of the spouses in case he or she is self representing, otherwise it will be taken by a solicitor. Whatever the case then, it is h4ly recommended for parties to do some research and find the right team of dedicated and experienced family mediators who can provide a professional approach to their family issues.
MIAMS not recommended
There are several cases though in which attending a MIAM should never be required to couples, like domestic abuse, bankruptcy of one of the spouses, an imperative court claim found crucial by any of the partners or the mediator himself and finally, in those delicate moments when kids protection problems have developed.