Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blog sites, take a look at the essential advantages of mediation and other methods of conflict resolution as a method of fixing the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation generally begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and consider individually with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration separately (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are personal and so the material will not be gone over with the other party.
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate form, handle any interim or pushing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the issues the parties wish to cover however this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent information and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. As soon as this has actually happened, one of the party’s lawyers will generally turn the Memorandum of Understanding into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The advantages of family mediation
There are a number of benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any issues which may make mediation hard or unsuitable. The advantages include:
Family mediation is a member of the ADR or alternative dispute resolution family. It forms one of the core pillars of mediation services provided globally.
Historically, it is not clear geographically where family mediation first evolved. However, family mediation has been present in various forms in various cultures world-wide for thousands of years.
The system is focused on providing a dispute resolution mechanism to families who are in dispute. Divorce mediation forms part of the family mediation tree of services.
Modern day family mediation is divided into two main fields namely mediation and comediation. In the former of the two fields a single mediator works with the family in dispute. In the latter of the two fields, two or more mediators work with a family in dispute. Mediations are completed by the use of either joint or single caucuses. In single caucuses the mediator/s caucus one party at a time. In joint caucuses the mediator/s work with all sides to the dispute present in the same session. The majority of family disputes have two sides however in family disputes between siblings it is not uncommon for several parties to be involved.
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the agenda and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can address matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and handle its speed. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have adequate time to collate monetary disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular idea might be much better.
a mediator’s function is to facilitate a dialogue in between the parties and encourage suggestions about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is particularly crucial for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and private procedure which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they wish to think about. This typically results in parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures if successful. By setting the program and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. The mediator will also handle the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an indispensable method of resolving family conflicts efficiently and agreeably and it must be something that is motivated all year.