Exemptions from attending a MIAM

MIAM Exemptions (Mediation)

To apply to a court for a Child Arrangements Order you must first have attempted Mediation - specifically to have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) unless one of the reasons from the list below applies to your situation.

Reasons for Exemption from a MIAM

  1. You are exempt from a MIAM if you and the other party have reached an agreement on the child arrangements and just want the court to issue a consent order to turn your agreement into a legal arrangement.

Already in the Court system

  1. You are exempt from a MIAM if your application concerns a child who is the subject of separate ongoing emergency proceedings, care proceedings or supervision proceedings (or is already the subject of an emergency, care or supervision order)

Domestic Violence

  1. You are exempt from a MIAM if there is evidence of Domestic Violence
    1. Legal Evidence
      1. Evidence of a relevant arrest, caution, or conviction
      2. Evidence of relevant criminal proceedings that have not concluded
      3. A court order binding you or the other party over in connection with a domestic abuse offence
      4. A domestic violence protection notice had been issued
      5. A relevant protective injunction (such as a non-molestation order)
      6. Evidence of an undertaking given (in England and Wales under Section 46 or 63E of the Family Law Act 1996) where an equivalent cross-undertaking was not given
      7. A copy of a finding of fact that there has been domestic abuse
    2. Professional Evidence
      1. An expert report that has been produced in court proceedings confirming domestic abuse
      2. A letter or report from an appropriate health professional confirming an in-person examination and that domestic abuse has taken place in their reasonable professional judgement
      3. A letter or report from either a health professional who made a referral to a domestic abuse support service, or from the domestic abuse support service to whom the health professional made the referral
      4. A letter from a MARAC member (multi-agency risk assessment conference)
      5. A letter from an IDVA/ISVA confirming they are providing support (Independent Domestic/Sexual Violence Advisor)
      6. A letter from a local authority or housing association that states there is a risk of or has been domestic abuse, why they think so, and what support has been provided
      7. A letter from a domestic abuse support organisation or charity that has been established at least 6 months and states there is a risk of or has been domestic abuse, why they think so, what support has been provided, and why that support was needed.
      8. A letter from a domestic abuse support organisation that confirms that you or the other person was refused admission to a refuge because of allegations of domestic abuse, and what date that was.
      9. A letter from the Secretary of State for the Home Department confirming leave to remain in the UK under paragraph 289B of the Rules under section 3(2) of the Immigration Act 1971
      10. Evidence of financial abuse

Child Protection Concerns

  1. You are exempt from a MIAM if a Child Protection Plan is in place or the Local Authority is investigating.


  1. You are exempt from a MIAM if there is:
    1. A risk to life or your home
    2. A risk that  a delay would cause harm to a child or potentially allow an abduction to take place
    3. A risk that justice could not be done
    4. A risk of unreasonable hardship
    5. A risk of irretrievable problems including loss of evidence

Previously attended a MIAM

  1. You are exempt from a MIAM if in the last four months:
    1. You attended a MIAM for this issue
    2. You were exempt from a MIAM for this issue
    3. Other court proceedings are underway for which you either had a MIAM or were exempt from one

Other Reasons

  1. You are exempt from a MIAM if:
    1. You don't have any contact details for the other person
    2. The application is without notice
    3. A disability prevents mediation from taking place
    4. One of the people involved is in prison
    5. One of the people involved doesn't live in England and Wales
    6. Either the applicant or respondent is a child
    7. No mediator (at least 3 if they exist) within 15 miles has an appointment within 15 working days
    8. There is no mediator within 15 miles

Mediators Exemptions

  1. You are exempt from a MIAM if the Mediator says that mediation is not appropriate and signs the relevant part of the court application or issues you with a code to include on an online application
The full list of reasons for exemptions from mediation are available in the Family Practice Rules and in Practice Direction 3A.

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