Family Procedure Rule Changes April 2011

As from 6 April 2011 the new Pre Application Protocol becomes operational. This means that everyone who wishes to apply to the Court for an Order in relation to financial matters or children issues will need to consider mediation before the Court will issue their Court application.

In order to demonstrate that mediation has been considered. All Applicants in private law family cases will need to file an FM1 form at Court at the same time that they lodge their Application with the Court. 

The FM1 form which confirms that the Applicant and/or the Respondent have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) needs to be signed by a Mediator, or person qualified to carry out a MIAM - in certain circumstances the form can be signed by the Applicant and/or their Solicitor.


Rollits Family Mediators

Rollits have two accredited Family Mediators - Sheridan Ball and Karen Myles who are authorised to carry out MIAMs and sign FM1 forms. They are also both accredited by the Legal Services Commission and therefore can mediate in cases where one or both Parties are eligible for public funding. 

Sheridan Ball trained as a Family Mediator in 1996, undertaking Advanced Family Mediation training in 1998. For the last 15 years Sheridan has practised as an All Issues Mediator becoming a Practitioner Member of The Law Society Family Mediation Panel in 2001. In 2011 Sheridan was accredited by Resolution to operate as a PPC supervising Family Mediators. 

Karen Myles trained as a Family Mediator in 1999 achieving accreditation with Resolution in 2003. Karen has undertaken All Issues Mediation work for the last 12 years.

In 2007 Karen and Sheridan both obtained qualification to carry out Direct Consultation with children within the mediation process. 


Referral for a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)

Requests for a MIAM can be made by emailing june.watson@rollits.com. You will then be sent a MIAM Referral form for completion and return.

MIAM meetings and consequent mediation sessions can be carried out at Rollits offices in Hull or York. If a particular venue is required then please state this on the referral form.


What happens at a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)?

In addition to explaining the mediation process and the role of the mediator, the MIAM will provide the opportunity to give the Parties information about other services that may be of assistance e.g. Parenting, or Counselling Courses. 

The Mediator will also assess suitability for mediation and the Parties can decide whether they then wish to participate in the mediation process. 

Should the Mediator consider mediation is not suitable, or either of the Parties choose not to proceed to mediation, or the mediation process subsequently breaks down the Mediator will complete the FM1 form which will then be sent to the referring Solicitor and/or Party. 


MIAM Fee Arrangements

During the MIAM the Mediator will assess whether a Party is eligible for mediation funding if they are then the LSC will also pay the cost of both Parties' MIAMs. 

If neither Party is assessed eligible for mediation funding, then each Party will be charged the same MIAM fee that the LSC pay ie £87 plus vat for a separate meeting and £130 plus vat for a joint meeting - the joint meeting fee is shared between the Parties.


Mediation Fee Arrangements
The LSC will pay the mediation fees for the Party who is eligible for mediation funding. If a Party is not eligible for mediation funding then the mediation fee will be discussed and agreed at the MIAM. 

Posted on: 04/04/2011

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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