Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blog sites, analyze the key benefits of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a way of resolving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and consider independently with them whether there are any problems which would suggest that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party independently (this is often called a Mediation Info Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a little more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are private therefore the content will not be gone over with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the private conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Mediate kind, deal with any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will generally involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the relevant details and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has actually taken place, one of the party’s attorneys will normally 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 variety of benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which might make mediation inappropriate or tough. 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 motivate the parties to set the agenda and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time between sessions and handle its pace. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have sufficient time to look at monetary disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose similar plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific tip may be much better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue in between the parties and motivate suggestions about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is especially crucial for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal procedure which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to consider. This usually leads to parties making suggestions they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures if successful. By setting the program and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will also handle the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can supply an indispensable method of fixing family disputes efficiently and agreeably and it should be something that is motivated all year.