Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blog sites, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a way of solving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and consider independently with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party independently (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary conferences are personal and so the material will not be gone over with the other party.
following the specific meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Moderate type, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the problems the parties wish to cover but this will generally include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the appropriate info and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has taken place, among the party’s attorneys will normally 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 benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any issues which may 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 motivate the parties to set the program and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and handle its speed. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collect monetary disclosure and reflect on recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific idea might be 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 interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and personal procedure which means that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to consider. This usually results in parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the agenda and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot 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 unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide a vital way of dealing with family disagreements effectively and agreeably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.