Family’s are deeply affected by divorce or separation, especially when there are children in the family. Often these painful situations can be helped with the aid of a mediator who will hold a Mediation Intake Assessment Meeting or MIAM. MIAMs can soothe ruffled feelings and ensure that communal assets are divided equally, make sure that financial obligations of both parents are laid out and help to make the break as easy as possible for all the members of the family.
When attending a court proceeding on the matter, the family will need to present an FM1 (Family Mediation 1 form) which confirms that a MIAM has been held.
As of April 2014, significant changes were made to the judicial system regarding separation and divorces, particularly where children were involved. These changes ensure that the welfare of the children is paramount, with minimal impact on the children and as little negativity as possible. One of the major changes was a requirement for a mediation session or MIAM to be attended before any court proceedings to do with financial or custody matters (hence the need for a FM1 to be produced).
If the split is acrimonious and both parties find it difficult to be in the same room, as would happen with face to face mediation, it is possible to ask for shuttle mediation.
Shuttle mediation happens when the two parties are seated in separate rooms and the mediator shuttles between the two, discussing issues and offering solutions. Shuttle mediation is often a good solution with distance between the parties allowing for rational and reasoned thinking.
Mediation sessions are now a legal requirement, and your ex’s lawyer will make this clear to him or her. Offering shuttle mediation, in which they will not have to share a room while coming to an agreement, is sometimes a way to make the thought of mediation more palatable.
Mediators can also help with will disputes: resolving issues between heirs and coming to an acceptable compromise in the event that the will is ambiguous or unclearly worded.