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How many times do I have to attend a MIAM

Posted by SamToucan 
How many times do I have to attend a MIAM
July 27, 2022 08:57PM
I had a high conflict divorce which was finalised about 8 years ago, with a court order that specified when I would see my children. Ongoing issues after that resulted in me going back to court several times to have the order enforced, the last of these cases concluding about 5 years ago. Since then things have been stable.

As part of the earlier enforcement cases I attended a MIAM. My ex-wife refused to engage with the mediator and after wasting a suitable amount of time and money on this I got my letter from them and could proceed with my application.

My children's needs have changed as they got older (9 year old twins, one with severe disabilities), and I am of the opinion that the current arrangements of when I see them are no longer in their best interest. I made a proposal to my ex-wife and she responded that she will not negotiate or change anything unless I take her back to court.

I notice that while the gov Uk website says I need to have attended a MIAM in the last 4 months, when I tried applying anyway using their online form, the form didn't mind that my MIAM was dated in 2017. If I proceed with my application, am I in for a nasty suprise later?

Also is there anyway around this? I don't want to attend another MIAM. I know about mediation and I know my ex-wife won't engage so it's just a waste of time and money as far as I'm concerned.
Re: How many times do I have to attend a MIAM
July 28, 2022 10:48AM
Well, it is normally much better if any issues about children can be settled by mediation rather than fighting everything in court. You should really only involve courts in issues about children where it is essential for one reason or another. Litigating who the children spend Boxing Day with would be an example of something that really should not be taken to court.

Having said that, if litigation really is essential and the other side will not engage in mediation it should only be necessary to attend a MIAM once (possibly by telephone). It would, though, be sensible in a case like this to at least give the other side the opportunity to attend a MIAM. If she will not and/or it soon becomes apparent it would be a waste of time there is no benefit in pursuing that route any further. It is then a separate question whether a court application is a sensible way forward.
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