Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blogs, take a look at the essential benefits of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of fixing the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and think about independently with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are confidential therefore the material will not be discussed with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Mediate type, handle any interim or pressing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties want to cover but this will usually involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In case an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape the appropriate details and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. As soon as this has occurred, one of the celebration’s legal representatives will normally 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 number of advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any concerns which might make mediation inappropriate or difficult. The benefits 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 want to cover in mediation. You can address matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its pace. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable plans or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might 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 created to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal process which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to think about. This usually results in parties making tips they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. 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 less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they become part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise guarantee and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an important method of fixing family disputes successfully and amicably and it ought to be something that is motivated all year.