Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blogs, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a way of solving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally starts 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 think about individually with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration individually (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary conferences are personal and so the content will not be gone over with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the individual meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Moderate type, deal with any interim or pushing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the problems the parties wish to cover however this will typically include conversation around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In case an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant information and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
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 file and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. When this has taken place, one of the celebration’s lawyers will normally turn the Memorandum of Comprehending into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The advantages of family mediation
There are a number of benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which may make mediation inappropriate or difficult. 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 program and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and handle its pace. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collate financial disclosure and review ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to impose similar plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific idea might be better.
a mediator’s function is to facilitate a dialogue between the parties and encourage recommendations about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is especially crucial for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and private process which means that parties are encouraged to be open about options they want to consider. This generally results in parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they become part of court procedures. The mediator will also manage the process and make sure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can offer a vital method of resolving family disagreements effectively and amicably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.