Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) lead to mediation less than 25 per cent of the time, a family law organisation has warned.
MIAMs are held to assess whether or not mediation could help to resolve a particular family dispute. Attendance at a MIAM is now compulsory for anyone who wishes to take a family dispute to court.
But in a recent poll by Resolution, 60 per cent of respondents said MIAMs only led to mediation less than 25 per cent of the time.
In addition, Solicitors Journal reports, over half the respondents to the survey said less than a quarter of the minority of cases which do proceed to mediation actually achieve a settlement.
The findings follow a suggestion by Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger that MIAMs be extended from family cases to some civil claims.
Resolution Jo Edwards said the effectiveness of the MIAM was limited by the natural progression of family disputes.
“By the time people have reached the issuing of proceedings, many have passed the point where mediation will be effective, or even possible.”
“While it is encouraging that Lord Neuberger is supportive of dispute resolution and introducing a MIAMs-equivalent for small civil claims, the experience of most working in family justice over the past year would suggest that the MIAM alone is not going to achieve the hoped-for high conversion rate to mediation…and settlement.”
Resolution represents family lawyers and other legal professionals who believe in a “constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law matters.”