Mediation assessment or intake meetings [Archived]
Mediation assessment or intake meetings [Archived]

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Mediation assessment or intake meetings [Archived]
  • What is an assessment meeting?
  • Assessing suitability for mediation
  • Do mediation principles apply to assessment meetings?
  • Do the five stage process of mediation apply to assessment meetings?
  • What might be the components of an assessment meeting?
  • Joint or separate meetings?
  • Who can/should undertake the assessment?
  • How long should an assessment meeting take?
  • How have MIAMs changed the mediation intake processes?

ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained. It considers the purpose and mechanics of mediation assessment intake meetings and mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs) when introduced in 2014, together with the similarities and differences between the two. For practical guidance on MIAMs and mediation, see Practice Notes: Non-court dispute resolution—mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs), Mediation—introduction and Mediation—process.

The changes introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA 2014) came into force on 22 April 2014. They provide that before making a relevant family application the applicant must attend a family mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM), and that the court may not issue, or otherwise deal with, an application if, in contravention, the applicant has not attended a MIAM. It remains that while attendance at a MIAM is compulsory for most applicants, there are circumstances in which attendance will not be required.

What is an assessment meeting?

An assessment meeting can be seen as both the first stage of mediation, ie part of establishing the arena, and as part of the pre-application requirements. It is much more than the provision of information and provides a formal and potentially definitive assessment of the appropriateness of mediation and alternative processes, for the benefit of:

  1. the participants

  2. their children

  3. other family members

  4. legal advisers

  5. funders such