Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blog sites, take a look at the crucial benefits of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a way of dealing with the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider individually with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration independently (this is often called a Mediation Information Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are personal therefore the content will not be gone over with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Moderate kind, handle any interim or pushing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will typically involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the relevant info and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general decisions 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 want to document in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal recommendations on it. Once this has occurred, among the celebration’s legal representatives will normally 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 advantages to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will consider any concerns which may make mediation unsuitable 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 program and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its pace. 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 adequate time to look at financial disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular suggestion may 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 created to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and private process which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they wish to consider. This typically leads to parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they become part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise manage the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can offer an indispensable way of fixing family conflicts effectively and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.