MIAMs made easy. Hmmm, I’ve bitten off a bit of a blog mouthful there haven’t I…? This MIAMs made easy blog will centre around a description of what, in this author’s opinion, a MIAM should actually be like. MIAMs made easy must of course start with a definition. The word MIAM is an acronym for Mediation Information Assessment Meeting. It is a pre-mediation meeting between a person who is considering using mediation to resolve the outstanding issues stemming from their divorce rather than spending the additional time and money to fight for a court outcome over which they have no control.
At New Landscape Mediation the MIAM is an opportunity for you to meet personally with your mediator, in a fully confidential setting. This meeting not only lets you get to know your mediator a bit and see how well you and he/she gel, but also to give them a better understanding of your situation, and your needs from the process. Remember, your mediator will not only meet with you, but will also reach out to your former partner and try to engage them in the process and organise a meeting with them too.
Once these two meetings have occurred, your mediator should have a fairly good sense of what your family’s needs are. They will know whether you have children that need any special attention or whether any additional financial experts may need to be organised (for example you may have extremely complex pensions schemes or convoluted business structures to untangle).
Another benefit from a MIAM is that your mediator should be able to tell you if mediation is simply not suitable in your circumstances. There may be various reasons for this, but the most common is where I, as a mediator sit with one partner and I’m told “There is no way I’m going to budge on my position. This is the ONLY outcome that is acceptable to me, and if he/she doesn’t like it, they can take me to court!!!!”. When I sit with a client like this, I owe it to both of them to be honest, and tell them that it is unlikely that we’ll be able to negotiate any kind of compromise solution. Even then however, there are some good things we can do in mediation that will save you both time and money. For example we can use the mediation process to gather and collate all of your financial documentation so that if you do then go through a more legal resolution process, we’ll have saved you several thousand pounds and six months of hassle. This is because the method of gathering financial information in mediation is much more streamlined and efficient than that more traditional legal method.
If you would like MIAMs made easy explained in more detail in a private conversation. Please contact New Landscape Mediation on 01279 211 657 for a fully confidential, no obligation discussion of your needs.