Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blog sites, analyze the essential advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of solving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider separately with them whether there are any issues which would suggest that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party independently (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are personal therefore the material will not be talked about with the other celebration.
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate type, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the problems the parties wish to cover however this will usually include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant info and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations 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 moms and dads wish 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 actually had independent legal recommendations on it. As soon as this has taken place, one of the celebration’s lawyers 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 number of benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will think about any problems which may make mediation inappropriate or difficult. 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can address matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its pace. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have enough time to collect financial disclosure and assess ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular recommendation might be 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.
mediation is a private and confidential process which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they want to consider. This typically leads to parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a way 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 procedures. By setting the program and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will also ensure and manage the process that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an important way of fixing family disputes effectively and amicably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.