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What will happen in the assessment meeting?

Depending on your respective wishes, you may be seen together or separately for the assessment meeting.  If you attend the assessment meeting together, the mediator will ask to see you separately at the outset to check if there are any worries or concerns that mediation may not be appropriate for you, for example, if there has been some form of domestic violence between you or if there is a serious lack of trust between you.  Also if you wish the mediator will assess whether you are entitled to legal aid in mediation.

The mediator will then explain to you clearly about the process, what is expected of you and the other person and also clarify the mediator’s role and give information about the costs.  The mediator will help you weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of taking part in mediation.  The mediator will also hep you identify other ways you might be able to resolve the issues so you can make an informed decision about the process.  At the end of the meeting you will be asked to decide whether you wish to take part in the mediation process and, of course this will only be possible if you both wish to do so. 

If both of you decide to proceed with mediation, a date will be arranged for the first mediation meeting. If you wish to receive legal aid in mediation, your mediator will not be able to do this until you have provided the up to date evidence to confirm your entitlement to public funding.

If mediation is not appropriate the mediator will provide the signed declaration to go in the application form that is needed to submit to the Court which then confirms that a MIAM has been attended.