Family and children

Mediation information and assessment meetings standards consultation – Law Society response

We responded to the Family Mediation Standards Board’s (FMSB) consultation on new standards for mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs).

This work on MIAM standards is being carried out at the request of the Family Mediation Council (FMC), following a 2019 report by the Family Division’s Private Law Working Group and the Family Solutions Group.

The review recommended that “the quality of the delivery of MIAMs should be more rigorously monitored and consistently maintained”.

An FMSB working group was set up, including representatives from the Law Society and all other FMC member organisations.

The proposals

The working group developed draft recommendations contained in three documents:

From April to May 2021, the FMSB sought views on the documents above, as well as on:

  • the three-layered format of the new standards – that of standards, expectations and guidance
  • the principle of relying on carefully proven professionalism from mediators, to underpin assurance processes

The FMSB proposes to use this model in all future reviews and developments of standards for family mediation.

Our views

We welcome the review but caution against:

  • prescribing a minimum time limit for MIAMs
  • making the administrative process too onerous for mediators, as this increases the risk of mediators withdrawing from providing MIAMs altogether
  • discouraging same-day consecutive meetings

Next steps

The consultation closed on Friday 21 May.

The FMSB working group is reviewing submissions.

Read the consultation on the FMSB website

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