Family Mediation Advantages Bishop's Stortford

Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, take a look at the key benefits of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a method of dealing with the useful plans following separation.

The family mediation procedure

First call

mediation typically 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 think about separately with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not appropriate.

Specific conferences

following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are confidential and so the material will not be gone over with the other celebration.

First joint meeting

following the private meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Contract to Mediate form, deal with any interim or pushing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.

More joint meetings

the focus of future conferences will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover but this will typically include discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.

In case an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant details and decisions in a variety of files called:

  • Open Financial Declaration
    this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
  • Memorandum of Understanding
    this records the discussions in mediation and the general 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 document in respect of the daily care of their children.

Family Mediation Bishop's Stortford

Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have actually had independent legal recommendations on it. Once this has occurred, among the party’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 number of advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will think about any problems which may make mediation inappropriate or hard. 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.

  • Versatility
    • The mediator will encourage the parties to set the agenda and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to 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 convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and similarly you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to look at monetary disclosure and review recommendations made.
    • Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific suggestion might be much better.

  • Communication
    a mediator’s role is to help with a discussion in between the parties and motivate ideas about the outcome. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly important for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
  • Privacy
    mediation is a private and private procedure which implies that parties are motivated to be open about options they want to think about. This typically results in parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
  • Costs and speed
    if effective, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also manage the process and ensure that mediation does not continue.

Although family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide a vital method of fixing family disputes efficiently and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.

National Family Mediation Services: