Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blog sites, analyze the crucial advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a way of resolving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation usually starts 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 consider individually with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration separately (this is often called a Mediation Information Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are personal therefore the content will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint conference
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate form, handle any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the issues the parties want to cover however this will generally involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent information and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general choices 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 moms and dads wish to document in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal advice on it. Once this has actually taken place, one of the celebration’s lawyers will generally 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, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which might make mediation difficult or inappropriate. 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 motivate the parties to set the agenda and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its pace. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collate monetary disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific tip may be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a dialogue in between the parties and motivate suggestions about the outcome. When a decision 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. This is especially crucial for parents 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 choices they want to consider. This normally leads to parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures if effective. 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 proceedings. The mediator will likewise manage the procedure and make sure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an important method of fixing family conflicts successfully and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.