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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What do I need at my Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)?

Your appointment is likely to last about 45minutes. The mediator will give you lots of information about family mediation and the alternatives so you can make an informed decision about whether mediation is something you want to do. They will also ask you lots of questions about the circumstances so they can decide whether mediation is a suitable process for you at this time.

 

In a property and finance MIAM the mediator will of course ask about your financial information. They are likely to ask you about any property you have an interest in, any savings or other capital, your income and whether you have any pension provision? They’re also likely to ask the same questions about the other party. But please don’t worry if you don’t have this information.

 

The mediator asks these questions because the first step of a Property and Finance mediation process is disclosure and then option development. For more information about this process please see our blog How do we sort out finances in mediation?

Can I be sure it is confidential?

Confidentiality is a strongly held principle of mediation. Unless you both choose a joint initial meeting, these initial meetings are usually conducted individually. Mediation is entirely voluntary. You will not be put under any pressure to proceed and, in the event that your situation is not suitable for mediation, we will not give out information to the other party or to a court that leads you to be blamed or penalised for a decision not to proceed. Mediation is also legally privileged. This means that where mediation does take place, the discussions you have and any arrangements you propose or test out cannot later be relied upon in court proceedings unless you both agree.

Do I have to attend a MIAM?

It is a legal requirement that anyone making an application to Court in family proceedings must attend a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM). There are some exceptions and these are listed on the court application form. In practice, this means that you will probably need to attend an initial meeting to assess the suitability of the case for mediation. Remember, although attending an initial meeting is expected by the court, the mediation process itself is voluntary and you will not be penalised if mediation is unsuitable or you choose not to proceed. That said, "...mediation is quicker, cheaper, and less confrontational... research shows it can cost a quarter of the price and take a quarter of the time of going to court"

Are all cases suitable for mediation?

Conflict and distress are a normal part of relationship breakdown. Mediators are trained to manage conflict. If, however, there are any issues such as current child protection and domestic violence concerns, this may mean that mediation is unsuitable. The confidential initial meeting is a safe opportunity to discuss such concerns and to discuss suitability.

How long does mediation take?

• We aim to see you within two weeks of the initial referral. Often we can see you the next day if needed.

• Where child issues are discussed in mediation, it usually takes 1-3 sessions.

• Where finance or finance plus child issues are discussed in mediation, it usually takes 3-5 sessions.

• Typically, people using mediation reach agreement and resolution within three months. Time between sessions is set by you to allow testing out of arrangements or to gather essential information e.g., house and pension valuations.

• Once you have made arrangements that you think are fair, these can be made legally binding if necessary.

Where will I see you?

We can meet with you online or we have offices throughout the North East. In Ashington, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Berwick, Durham and North Shields.

Where will I see you?

This is a private and confidential meeting just for you. The other party will not be there unless you choose to come together. Even then, there will be some one-to one time with the mediator.

What does it cost?

There is no charge for people who are eligible for Legal Aid. For those who are not eligible, mediation costs a fraction of going to court. Please see our fees page for more information on charges.

How do I pay if I am not eligible for Legal Aid?

We ask clients to make payment in advance of the meeting. You can do this with your credit or debit card by telephone or most people prefer to pay via BACS transfer. Sorry, we do not accept cash or cheques.

How is Pax Mediation regulated?

As providers of legally aided mediation, we are strictly regulated and regularly audited by the Legal Aid Agency.

 

All of our mediators are Family Mediation Council Accredited (FMCA) Family Mediators. FMCA Family Mediators are qualified to the highest standard and governed by FMC Codes of Practice. As a requirement of becoming members, we have undergone comprehensive training and are required to undertake regular professional supervision. Make sure you use a Family Mediator who holds this qualification.

 

Pax Mediation has also held the Help and Support for Separated Families (HSSF) Mark for several years. The mark is awarded following an independent assessment and demonstrates that we actively work to help parents collaborate constructively to arrange things for their children. We have a complaints procedure available below if you are not satisfied with the service you have received.

Pax Mediation Complaints Policy

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