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The Process

The MIAM (Mediation Information Assessment Meeting) is a confidential, private meeting between you and the mediator. It lasts for up to 45 minutes. This time is used to determine whether mediation is appropriate at this time.

Once the mediator has met with both of you separately, and you have both agreed to mediate and the mediator thinks it suitable to do so, we will arrange a Joint Mediation session at convenient time for you both. The joint sessions last up to 90 minutes. You may need a few sessions dependent upon the complexity of your case. The mediator enables both of you to work through a structured process to enable you to work towards reaching agreements on money and finances and where, how and with whom the children will spend time.

The agreements you make in mediation are not legally binding. A Statement of Outcome is written up and can be taken to a solicitor to be turned into a legally binding order. The following orders can be applied for:

Arrangements for your child

A ‘child arrangements order’ decides:

where your child lives
when your child spends time with each parent
when and what other types of contact, like phone calls, take place

‘Child arrangements orders’ replace ‘residence orders’ and ‘contact orders’. Parents with these orders don’t need to re-apply.

Your child’s upbringing

A ‘specific issue order’ is used to look at a specific question about how the child is being brought up, for example:

what school they go to
if they should have a religious education

You can also apply for a ‘prohibited steps order’ to stop the other parent from making a decision about the child’s upbringing.

Who can apply

The child’s mother, father or anyone with parental responsibility can apply for a court order.

If you would like to represent yourself in court or litigate in person in any family matter all the forms can be found at www.justice.gov.uk on the home page. Alternatively Call Swindon court on 01793 690500 for any further assistance.

For property and finance agreements, the documents written up after mediation are an Open Financial Statement and either a detailed Statement of Outcome or a Memorandum of Understanding. Again, you can apply to court to convert your agreement into a Finance Order by filling in the court forms yourself or by using a solicitor.