Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blog sites, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of fixing the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider independently with them whether there are any problems which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration separately (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are personal and so the material will not be discussed with the other celebration.
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend on the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will usually involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate info and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to document in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has actually taken place, one of the celebration’s legal representatives will normally 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 benefits 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 might make mediation challenging or inappropriate. The benefits 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 agenda and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and manage its pace. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have enough time to collect financial disclosure and review tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific suggestion may be much better.
a mediator’s function is to assist in a discussion between the parties and motivate tips about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly essential for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal procedure which means that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This normally results in parties making suggestions they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will also handle the process and ensure 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 suitable cases it can offer an invaluable way of resolving family disagreements efficiently and amicably and it ought to be something that is motivated all year.