Before you can apply to the family court for some family law issues, you are usually required to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). The purpose of the MIAM is to explore whether mediation can sort things out instead of going directly to court.
You do not have to sit in a room with your ex-partner.
You should attend mediation for:
1. Child Arrangements: For example where a child should live, who they should have contact with, and other issues that need to be sorted. 2. Financial Disputes after Divorce or Separation: This included disputes about property, assets, and financial support following a divorce or separation. 3. Disputes between Cohabitants: If you were living together but not married, you may need to attend a MIAM before going to court to resolve disputes related to property or finances.
Sometimes you don't have to attend mediation, for example:
1. There is evidence of domestic violence or abuse. 2. There are child protection concerns. 3. The application is urgent. 4. You have attended a MIAM within the last four months for the same issue.
The mediator will sign a part of the application form to say you have attempted to solve things before applying to the court.