Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting
In the event of a divorce, separation or any type of family break up, there are many issues which have to be settled. Both parties need to come to an agreement about finances, property distribution and custody of minors. A break up or divorce is hard enough as it is, but when these kinds of conflicts take center stage, it can leave a really negative effect on family relationships as well as the psyche of the minors involved. This is why many families opt for family mediation rather than going in for legal intervention.
Based on recent legislation, couples who are breaking up now have to opt for a MIAM or Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, as a preliminary procedure before going for a court case. This has been mandated by the state as mediation is a much simpler, quicker, easier and more peaceful way of finding a resolution during a divorce. A court case involves tremendous legal fees and expenses, can cause undue stress for family members and also taxes the resources of the state. A mediation session, on the other hand, is cost effective for everyone, and offers much quicker resolutions.
What is a MIAM
A MIAM, as mentioned above, is a court mandated mediation session in which all parties have to participate. The only exceptions case are situations where domestic abuse, bankruptcy and/or child abuse or negligence are involved, in which case the session is not mandatory and the case can go straight to court. We at Just Divorce Mediation offer top notch mediation services by trained professionals who know exactly how to create a calm environment for discussion and resolution.
A MIAM is relatively low cost but low income families can also avail of these services for free. It starts with an initial assessment meeting where the mediator, a neutral, third party professional trained to mediate family conflicts, listens to the various issues involved and decides whether mediation would be of help. They also determine, based on the wishes of the parties, whether or not joint sessions would be more helpful than separate sessions.
Following this initial meeting, the mediator hosts a series of meetings, either joint or separate, where each party states their issues. The aim is to effect a reconciliation or resolution, by arriving at a compromise or decision which is mutually agreed upon by everyone.
Signing off FM1,C100 and Form A
In some cases, mediation may not be the right choice for the family. In that case, the mediator, after assessing the situation, will provide an FM1, C100, Form A or Family Mediation 1 form. This allows the case to go on to the court.
An FM1 form is only applicable for 4 months, after which a fresh session of mediation would be required before issuing a new FM 1 form.