Since the law changed in April 2014, any person who wishes to bring a family matter before the court is expected to attend a Mediation and Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before issuing court proceedings. There are some exemptions to having to attend a MIAM and they can be found here.
The purpose of a MIAM is to offer clients a chance to consider what options are available for resolving their issues and whether court proceedings are the best way for the family to deal with them. A MIAM is not mediation. It is a meeting to consider whether mediation or some other process would be the right way forward. You do not usually attend with the other person. MIAMs can now be held online.
Find a local mediator here.
Legal Aid is available for MIAMs but this depends on an individual’s capital and income. If one of the parties in the dispute is assessed as being eligible for Legal Aid, then the first joint mediation session for the private fee-paying client will be covered by Legal Aid. Click here to check whether you are eligible for Legal Aid.