Earlier in 2018 I met with a mother for a Mediation Information and Advisory Meeting (MIAM).(1)

At the MIAM the mother explained that due to the way the relationship ended that the child felt embarrassed and stressed about the presence of the other parent at church and at school. For the time being the child did not want the other parent to attend these venues.

A religious divorce had been completed but the mother wanted to start the divorce here in the UK.

The mother felt that due to communication breaking down that she would need to attend Court but did not rule out mediation – if the father wanted to attend.

After the MIAM I contacted the father for his MIAM. He explained that he had lost a limb so in order to make things as easy as possible for him arrangements were made for me to meet him close to his home. The lease on the rented family home was shortly to expire and the father was concerned about whether the rent had been paid. He also understandably wanted to know what the housing arrangements were so that the children could continue to reside in suitable accommodation.

A subsequent mediation joint session lasted 90 minutes and we had time to discuss all of these points.

The father took on board what the mother said and for the time being proposed not to attend the venues that were causing the child stress.

The mother proposed that she would be the petitioner for the civil divorce process and for a draft petition to be sent to the husband’s solicitor for their comments before the petition was filed at Court a week later.

The mother also explained that the local council had agreed to pay the flat rental for several months so that a decision could be made as to whether she and the children continued to reside there in 2019 or if alternative accommodation would be a better option.

It was not easy for either parent to discuss these matters as there had been little communication between them for months but both preferred to make the decisions themselves rather than go to Court, something which can be an expensive process and can go on for a long time. Also, they appreciated that if a Judge makes all the important decision then then they would have no control over the outcome. Both parties worked very hard and a lot was achieved in a very timely and cost-effective mediation session.


If you have issues arising from separation or divorce ASM Plus’s family mediation team convener Austin Chessell who is supported by some highly skilled specialists is here to assist you to talk things through to see if you can reach decisions together.  Call ASM Plus on 07393 654824 for an initial without obligation discussion or email us at paul.sandford@asmadr.co.uk

(1) The first meeting with a family mediator is often called a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting. (MIAM). Whether it’s called a MIAM or a first meeting, it is conducted by a family mediator such as Austin and gives you the chance to find out how mediation works. Mediators are trained to work out with you whether mediation is right for you and your family. They will also discuss how many sessions you may need, how much they would cost, and explain whether you might get legal aid to pay for mediation. The mediator can also give you information about other services that provide help and support and the other options you might have to resolve things.