Written by Sarah England

Sarah is an accredited mediator and has a commercial background with over 20 years experience in business strategy and marketing including a number of years in legal services marketing. Sarah trained as a family mediator in 2011 with The Family Mediator's Association.

A MIAM is the first step whether you think you need to make an application to court, wish to mediate or even a combination of the two. You cannot make an application to court without attending a MIAM unless you are exempt (see here for more information on exemptions).

If there are any relevant court orders make sure you take them with you. Otherwise, all you will need is a notepad to jot down any useful information you may hear.

Check whether the mediator is accredited for children and family cases (this tells you your mediator has both experience and some successful outcomes).

There is absolutely nothing to be nervous about; the mediators are there to help you resolve matters so they will explain the process and principles of mediation. They will then ask you to sign an agreement to mediate. Don’t worry; this does not commit you to anything other than abiding by the principles of mediation if you attend mediation. It ensures you both keep matters discussed confidential For example:

If you are looking for a mediation service to provide a MIAM for you top tips would be:

Have a look at their website ahead, is it helpful?

Look at the costs of both the MIAM and the mediation session costs as if it goes well you will be paying both.

Check whether the mediator is accredited for children and family cases (this tells you your mediator has both experience and some successful outcomes).

Ask whether the service is run on a sole mediator basis or co-mediation basis and if the latter whether they charge extra for this?

Co-mediation simply means you have the benefit of two mediators working for you to solve the issue and therefore, hopefully able to offer a higher success rate. Green Light Mediation does not charge higher fees for co-mediation.

Most people choose to have their MIAM alone and that can be useful for both clients and mediators as it is a chance to calmly express your perspective regarding the dispute and understand how the process can help you.

A MIAM is an opportunity to meet and build rapport with your mediator and to ask any questions you might have so if you have a burning question write it down on your pad ahead so that you don’t forget to ask.

Additional Reading/Resources

If you are facing court alone many people have found Lucy Reed’s book, ‘Family Court Without A Lawyer’ particularly useful.

You may also find our page on How To Tell Your Children You Are Divorcing – Recommended Books useful.

The Handover Book by Ashley Palmer is a unique and simple communication book for separated families. It will allow them both to always be aware of what is happening in their children’s busy lives as they go from one household to another. It’s a way of communicating the important things they both need to know about their children, while keeping your relationship as parents friendly and calm.

Charlotte Friedman has written Breaking Upwards – How To Manage The Emotional Impact Of Separation. Charlotte offers calm, therapeutic advice on everything from how to manage loneliness to letting go of grievance, and draws on illuminating case studies to answer questions such as:  How long before I get over this divorce? How do I tell the children?  How do I cope with the new partner in my ex’s life?


    Did you find this useful?

    Thanks for your feedback. :)

    Can you tell me which of the following applies to you:


    Anything else to add?

    101 Question Answered About Separating With Children

    Now in its 2nd edition, fully revised and updated with COVID information it will help any parent going through a separation. More information here.........

    Read More >