Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blog sites, take a look at the essential benefits of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a way of solving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any concerns which would imply that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration separately (this is often called a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are confidential and so the content will not be discussed with the other party.
following the private meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the problems the parties wish to cover but this will usually involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can record the relevant details and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than 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 proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. When this has actually occurred, one of the party’s legal representatives will typically turn the Memorandum of Comprehending 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, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which may make mediation hard 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 motivate the parties to set the program and confirm 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 process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and manage its pace. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to collect financial disclosure and review ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular recommendation might be 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 confidential procedure which means that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they wish to think about. This usually results in parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
if successful, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they become part of court procedures. The mediator will also handle the procedure and guarantee that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an invaluable way of solving family disagreements effectively and amicably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.