Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blog sites, take a look at the key benefits of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of fixing the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any concerns which would mean that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is often called a Mediation Info Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are confidential and so the material will not be talked about with the other party.
following the specific meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Agreement to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover however this will generally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant info and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to document in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has actually occurred, one of the celebration’s lawyers will usually turn the Memorandum of Comprehending into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The advantages of family mediation
There are a variety of advantages to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will consider any problems which may make mediation challenging or unsuitable. The benefits consist of:
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 motivate the parties to set the agenda and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- 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 manage its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have sufficient time to look at financial disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular tip may be better.
a mediator’s role is to help with a discussion between the parties and encourage suggestions about the outcome. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is designed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a private and personal process which means that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they wish to think about. This typically results in parties making suggestions they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the agenda and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they are part of court procedures. The mediator will likewise ensure and handle the process that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide a vital method of fixing family disputes successfully and agreeably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.