The purpose of the MIAM is to
Although mediation is a voluntary process, the Family Court expects mediation to be considered as an option for resolution before issuing proceedings through the Courts and therefore in 2014 it became a legal requirement for anyone intending to go to Court in relation to financial and/or child related matters to attend a MIAM meeting (with certain very limited exceptions).
Mediation can start once each of you has attended a MIAM. Mediation meetings can be arranged on a joint basis (ie with you both in the same room) or on a ‘shuttle’ basis (with each of you in separate rooms). The format for the meetings can be discussed in the MIAM.
In the meetings all the issues you both wish to raise can be discussed and then all possible options for settlement are identified and reality tested. As mediation is a voluntary process, it is for the parties to decide how many meetings they wish to have, however most people find that 2-3 meetings are usually sufficient.
At the conclusion of the process, a Memorandum of Understanding summarising any proposals for settlement can be provided if the parties wish. This MOU can then be taken to solicitors for drafting as a Consent Order for submission to the Court within divorce proceedings.
For mediation relating to children, a Parenting Plan can be provided at the conclusion of the mediation. This Parenting Plan can then be produced to the Court as part of a Child Arrangements order.