Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, examine the crucial advantages of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of solving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about independently with them whether there are any problems which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Info Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are confidential and so the material will not be discussed with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the individual conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Mediate kind, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the problems the parties want to cover however this will normally involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant details and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. When this has actually taken place, among the party’s legal representatives will usually 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 variety of advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will consider any issues which might make mediation unsuitable or tough. 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 program and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter 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 in between sessions and manage its pace. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collate financial disclosure and review tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific tip might be much 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 designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal process which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they wish to consider. This usually leads to parties making recommendations they would hesitate 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.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and choosing 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 likewise ensure and manage the process that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer a vital way of fixing family conflicts successfully and amicably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.