How to get the most from a MIAM? Firstly, it is important to understand what a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting can actually do for you. The MIAM, when attended with a Family Mediation Council accredited mediator, such as with New Landscape Mediation in Essex, is not just an opportunity for the mediator to assess you as to your suitability for mediation.
It is also your opportunity to assess your mediator.
How comfortable to you feel with him/her? Do they seem to be listening to your concerns, or are they mainly interested in getting you through to the end of the meeting so they can get you out the door and meet with someone else? Is your mediator accredited? If not, they can still legally meet with you but they are unable to sign any official forms for the court or your solicitors if later needed. Mediators who are not Family Mediation Council accredited are not qualified to sign such documentation.
The MIAM is the doorway into a mediated agreement, and a fair and workable financial settlement, as well as your opportunity to develop a strong working co-parenting relationship following divorce. It is an important “pre-step” of mediation that provides the mediator with the information they need to determine what precisely is going to be the best way of assisting you and your family.
A fair financial settlement won’t happen by magic, and a solid MIAM is the key to how the rest of mediation progresses. Before attending, by all means try to have a sense of what you see as some of the obstacles in the way of fair and workable agreement, but also please ensure that you have some sense of the things that might help you both get through to the end with your savings and dignity intact.
Try to not only have some ideas as to how your partner needs to cooperate, or what concessions you feel they are going to need to make, but also try to have at least a vague sense of some things that you might be able to contribute towards a shared agreement.
At New Landscape Mediation we listen carefully to our clients at the MIAM and use our notes from those meetings to develop a method of working that will hopefully not only guide you through to a successfully negotiated agreement, but also to achieve this with as little stress and heartache as we possibly can.