Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blog sites, analyze the key benefits of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a method of fixing the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any concerns which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration separately (this is frequently called a Mediation Details Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are personal therefore the content will not be gone over with the other celebration.
following the individual conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Moderate type, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the issues the parties wish to cover but this will generally involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent info and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. When this has taken place, among the celebration’s lawyers will usually turn the Memorandum of Understanding into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The advantages of family mediation
There are a variety of advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which may make mediation unsuitable or challenging. 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 validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collect financial disclosure and assess tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific tip may be much better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a confidential and personal procedure which implies that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they wish to consider. This usually results in parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the program and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also manage the process and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can provide an invaluable way of fixing family conflicts successfully and amicably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.