Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blog sites, take a look at the key advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of resolving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about independently with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration individually (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a little more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are personal therefore the content will not be gone over with the other party.
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Arrangement to Mediate form, handle any interim or pressing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the problems the parties wish to cover but this will normally involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape the appropriate information and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has actually occurred, one of the party’s lawyers will typically 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 benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any issues which might make mediation difficult or inappropriate. 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 verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve 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 hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have adequate time to look at financial disclosure and assess ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be much better.
a mediator’s role is to help with a dialogue between the parties and motivate tips about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and private procedure which means that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to consider. This typically results in parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they are part of court procedures. The mediator will likewise manage the procedure and guarantee 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 supply an invaluable way of fixing family disagreements efficiently and agreeably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.