The FM1 form
What is an FM1 form?
The FM1 form is a technical part of the divorce procedure. The form should be completed and signed by a mediator and their client. If the client has been present at MIAM meetings (Mediation and Information and Assessment Meetings) then your mediator can compete section 1 of the FM1 form to provide evidence to the court that such meetings have been completed. This is the usual state of affairs.
What about when a client has not attended MIAMS?
In the case where a client has not attended MIAMS meetings then the mediator must fill in part 2 of the form. This may explain various reasons why MIAMS meetings were not conducted. Firstly, it may be that the other party to the dispute (in the case of a divorce) has not been willing to attend MIAMS meetings. This effectively makes the mediation procedure impossible. Secondly, it may be that the mediator considers that this particular case is unsuitable for mediation. Thirdly, it may be that in the previous four months that another mediator has considered that the case is not suitable for mediation.
Are there exemptions to mediation?
In certain, exceptional, cases, there is no requirement to undertake MIAMS meetings. It must be noted that these are rare. The happiest situation in which MIAMS meetings do not have to be undertaken is if there is no dispute to resolve between parties.
If there has been an allegation of domestic violence which has then led to the police taking action, or in the case of a civil dispute involving domestic violence, then MIAMS is not required and the mediator must express this on form FM1. Note that for this to be the case, the allegation and subsequent action must have taken place within the last 12 months.
If there has been a dispute on financial grounds, and there is bankruptcy, then this may be included as a reason not to attend MIAMS on form FM1.
There are other, complex circumstances, in which the FM1 form should indicate if MIAMS meetings are not necessary. These concern when the parties can not be located, where there would be significant harm to a child or where there are child protection issues are involved. At FAMILY MEDIATION 1 we can help you with the complexities of the FM1 form, and talk through your particular circumstances.
Has the law changed recently?
From April 2014 the Children and Families bill will change the law around MIAMS. This is a complex matter which will impact upon legal aid and make MIAMS meetings more prevelant, but at FAMILY MEDIATION 1 we can keep you appraised of any legal changes that occur.
Contact us for Family Mediation – 03300 101 354