Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blogs, take a look at the crucial benefits of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of fixing the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any concerns which would indicate that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Info Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are personal therefore the material will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate form, deal with any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will usually include discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant details and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. Once this has actually occurred, among the party’s attorneys will generally turn the Memorandum of Comprehending 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 listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which may make mediation challenging or unsuitable. The benefits 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 validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and handle its speed. 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 adequate time to look at monetary disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular idea might be much better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal procedure which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to consider. This generally leads to parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. The mediator will likewise guarantee and manage the procedure 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 suitable cases it can provide an indispensable way of fixing family conflicts efficiently and agreeably and it must be something that is motivated all year.