Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, take a look at the crucial advantages of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a way of dealing with the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation generally begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider individually with them whether there are any concerns which would indicate that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is often called a Mediation Info Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are private and so the material will not be gone over with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the issues the parties want to cover but this will generally involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent details and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general choices 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 want to record in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have actually 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 advantages to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own lawyer will think about any issues which may make mediation inappropriate or hard. The advantages 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can address matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and manage its rate. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have enough time to look at financial disclosure and review ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular idea may 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 created to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal process which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This normally leads to parties making suggestions they would be reluctant 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.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise guarantee and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can supply an invaluable method of resolving family disagreements effectively and agreeably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.