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'MIAM’ stands for Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. It is a meeting where a mediator will provide you with information on mediation and discuss with you whether mediation or another form of family dispute resolution is suitable for you given your particular circumstances.

​If you are in dispute with your ex or a family member, or you are having difficulties sorting issues surrounding your separation or divorce, you may be considering making a court application. But before an application can be made to the court for private law children proceedings or financial remedy on divorce you the applicant are required to attend a MIAM. There are some exemptions but for most people, a mediation meeting is a required step.


At Pax Mediation we offer clients the opportunity to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) in person at one of our various offices across Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland etc., as well as in Wales, or online from the comfort of your own home.

newcastle quayside mediation


  • Do you need to attend a MIAM and want to meet with someone face-to-face?

  • We offer in-person mediation meetings at multiple locations in the Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, and North Shields areas.

  • All of our offices are conveniently located near excellent transport links and parking facilities.

  • Please see our locations page for more details about each of our different venues.

  • We offer face-to-face appointments for £150, which includes VAT, and we do not charge for any court forms or MIAM certificates you may need. 

  • Legal Aid is available for family mediation. If you are eligible there is no charge for MIAM nor any subsequent mediation sessions.


  • Since 2012 we have been a leader of online family mediation. We have extensive experience in helping people reach an agreement online. 

  • If you are looking to attend a MIAM but are unable to find a local mediator who can meet with you soon enough or you cannot take time off work to visit one, we can help.

  • If you have childcare issues it can be challenging to attend a face-to-face appointment but that's not an issue with an online appointment.  

  • Our online service allows you to meet with us over a video call using your computer, tablet, or smartphone. All you need is a reliable internet connection and a private space. 

  • If you are eligible, Legal Aid is available for family mediation, which means that there will be no charge for your MIAM or any subsequent mediation sessions.

  • We offer online mediation meetings for £130, which includes VAT, and we do not charge for any court forms you may need.

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How to get started?

Please fill in our referral form. This referral form provides us with important contact information about yourself and the other party and your problem or dispute. Once we have it we’ll get in touch with you to arrange your online mediation meeting and send you instructions explaining how to prepare.

What happens at a MIAM?

The mediator will

  • give you lots of information about the mediation process and the alternatives,

  • signpost you to alternative services that may be helpful such as the Department for Work and Pensions, Citizens Advice Bureau, Housing and Domestic Abuse organisations to name but a few,

  • also ask lots of questions about the circumstances in order to assess suitability,

  • and discuss how many sessions you may need and how much they would cost.


The mediation meeting usually lasts around 45 minutes. It is entirely confidential, subject to certain exceptions such as child protection but we would not be sharing anything discussed in the meeting with the other party.

What happens next?

If you decide you would like to try mediation, we will get in touch with the other person, inviting them to attend their own MIAM with the same mediator. If you are both willing and mediation is suitable we would organise a first mediation session for you both. If you decide you don’t want to mediate or the other party doesn’t wish to attend, we’ll post you the court certificate immediately to enable you to make a court application.


How much does a MIAM cost?

ONLINE - Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting - £130

FACE TO FACE - Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting - £150

OUT OF HOURS - Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting - £160

C100/FORMA - Court Form - FREE

How much does a mediator cost in the UK?

The Family Mediation Council claims that the average family mediation cost is £140 per hour. At Pax Mediation we have competitive pricing. We also offer Legal Aid which means if you are eligible mediation is completely FREE. Please see our Fees and Legal Aid page for more information. We are also authorized to provide the Mediation Voucher Scheme. Under this scheme, the government will contribute up to £500 per case/family to the mediation costs of a child arrangements case. 

Do both parties attend a MIAM?

Not together. The first party attends their MIAM and if they are willing and mediation is suitable we will invite the other party to attend a separate MIAM.

What is the difference between mediation and a MIAM?

'MIAM' stands for Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. It is a meeting where a mediator will provide you with information on mediation and discuss with you whether mediation or another form of family dispute resolution is suitable for you given your particular circumstances. Family mediation is a process in which an independent, professionally trained mediator helps you work out arrangements for your children and/or finances following separation. 

What if my ex refuses mediation?

It's quite common for someone to first refuse mediation, this is often due to a misunderstanding of what mediation is. Part of our role at Pax Mediation is to provide information and talk to your ex about the benefits of mediation for you both so they can make an informed decision about whether they wish to mediate. It is also expected, as part of the Family Court Practice directions, for both parties to attend MIAMs.

What are the 3 types of mediation?

Children Mediation, Property and Finance Mediation and All Issues Mediation.

Can I skip mediation and go straight to court?

No. Before you make a court application you will likely need to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). There are some exceptions to this requirement such as child protection concerns or domestic abuse but for most people this a required step. This does not mean that must attend mediation, just consider it as part of your options.

What if one party does not agree to mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process. It only proceeds if both parties are willing and mediation is suitable. 

Will it look bad if I refuse to go to mediation?

In your confidential Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) you get to make a decision about whether you wish to proceed with mediation. This decision is confidential so will not impact any other options. 

What not to say in a mediation meeting?

You should be open and honest. Honesty is key to ensuring that any arrangements last. Consider the future. Nothing can be done about the past and mediation is about making arrangements for the future. Be prepare to compromise. Negotiation involves flexibility. Come prepared to discuss several options and how each might work. Forget about scoring points. Heated emotionsin the session are understandable. The mediator is there to ensure you have an opportunity to have productive discussions that you are comfortable with. It is important to set aside any ideas caculated to hurt or score points. By actively enaging in the rpocess tou create the opportunity to make the best possible arrangements. 

Is there a downside to mediation?

Mediation has many advantages over litigation. Generally speaking it is faster, easier and more cost effective. However it's not a magic wand and doesn't work in all situations. At mediation the clients must be their own advocate. Not everyone comes prepared for mediation and may not present issues well. Our skilled mediators are trained to keep you on track.

What is the most difficult part of mediation?

People in conflict often have strong emotions and fixed views. They may not trust each other, the mediator nor the process. Therefore it is not uncommon for people to refuse mediation. Part of our role at Pax Mediation is to provide information about the mediation process to everyone involved so they can make an informed decision about whether mediation is something that would work for them. 

Why is court better than mediation?

Family mediation is often the ideal solution for resolving disputes related to children's arrangements. It's a quick, affordable, and effective way to ensure long-lasting arrangements. However, there are some cases where mediation may not be appropriate, such as those involving domestic abuse, child protection, or ongoing criminal proceedings. Family court can conduct fact finding hearings and provide information to help parties or the court to make final decisions.

When should mediation not be used?

In a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) the mediator will ask lots of questions to assess for suitability of mediation. There are some circumstances in which mediation may not be suitable. If there are current child protection and domestic violence concerns this may mean that mediation is unsuitable. The confidential MIAM is a safe opportunity to discuss such concerns and suitability.

What cases cannot be mediated?

Family mediation works for most people but it isn't right for everyone. If may not work if:

- someone's safety is at risk, for example, if there are child protection or domestic abuse matters arising

- if your dispute is about financial issues and you or your ex-partner are bankrupt

- or you don't know where your ex is and you cannot contact them.

Do I need legal advice before mediation?

You can attend mediation without going to a solicitor. However it is always a good idea to seek legal advice if you can. Legal advice may be helpful for making a decisions connected with the mediation discussions, considering any proposed agreement reached through mediation or turning the mediated agreement into a legally binding document such as a consent order.

What are the risks of mediation?

Family mediation is generally a great option for most people. One of the great things about family mediation is you remain in control. They are your children, your finances, you should get to decide what happens. However the flipside of this is as you remain in control, it's up to you and the other party whether you reach an agreement therefore the result is not guaranteed.

What are the 7 stages of mediation?

1. Referral.

2. First client attends a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

3. Second clients attends a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

4. Setting the agenda for the mediation.

5. Exploring the issues.

6. Reaching an agreement.

7. Recording of the agreement.

What are the 5 steps of mediation?

1. Preparing the arena.

2. Setting the agenda.

3. Exploring the issues.

4. Securing an agreement.

5. Recording the agreement.

What is the golden rule of mediation?

There are several principles of mediation which are vital to the process. It is voluntary. It is confidential. Mediators are impartial. 

Can a mediator force parties to settle?

Absolutely not. It is an important principle of mediation that mediation is voluntary. One of the reasons family mediation produces such long-lasting agreements is because the parties agreed to them voluntarily; nobody made them, therefore they are much more likely to stick to the arrangements. 

Start Your Journey Today

Whether you’re in Northumberland, Newcastle, or across England and Wales, we are here to help. With over a decade of combined experience, we’re proud to have helped thousands of families reach decisions and help settle their disputes. From online mediation meetings to face-to-face MIAM appointments, get in touch with the team at Pax Mediation to discuss your requirements today.

Complete our referral form now to get things started

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