Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, examine the essential benefits of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a method of solving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and think about individually with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party independently (this is typically called a Mediation Info Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are personal therefore the content will not be talked about with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the specific meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the issues the parties wish to cover but this will generally involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant info and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to record in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. When this has occurred, among the party’s attorneys will generally turn the Memorandum of Understanding into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The benefits of family mediation
There are a variety of benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which may make mediation hard or unsuitable. The benefits consist of:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the program and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and manage its pace. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to look at monetary disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular idea may be better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a personal and personal process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about options they want to think about. This typically leads to parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they belong to court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise handle the process and guarantee that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an important method of solving family disagreements effectively and amicably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.