Despite increased coverage about mediation, the process can often be confusing for clients. The first information and assessment meeting (commonly called a MIAM) gives clients the opportunity to ask the mediator questions about the process and their own situation. You can also visit our 'questions and answers' page to see frequently asked questions. However, many clients need some more details and reassurance before they pick up the phone to make that initial enquiry.
What happens if . . . ?
Most people are unsure about what happens if their ex-partner does not want to go to mediation. One of the main points of mediation is that it is a voluntary process and therefore an ex-partner cannot be forced to attend. At all stages of the process, mediation is voluntary and although a Judge may strongly recommend mediation, this is usually not enforced. However if a person wishes to apply to the court for a ‘child arrangements order’, or for a financial order on divorce then, apart from some specific exemptions, they are required to first attend a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) to explore the option of mediation as another way to sort out child arrangements.
If mediation isn’t suitable for any reason, a person does not want to proceed with the process or mediation breaks down, we will provide clients with the C100 court form to apply for a child arrangements order, or a Form A to apply for a financial order.
To help you understand ‘what happens if . . . ?’ our infographic can show you what happens during the family mediation process.