Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blog sites, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of fixing the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and think about independently with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party independently (this is often called a Mediation Details Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are confidential and so the content will not be gone over with the other party.
First joint conference
following the individual meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Arrangement to Mediate form, deal with any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend on the issues the parties want to cover however this will typically involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent info and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has actually happened, among the celebration’s legal representatives will normally turn the Memorandum of Understanding into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The benefits of family mediation
There are a variety of advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which might make mediation unsuitable or hard. The benefits consist of:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the program and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its pace. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have adequate time to collect financial disclosure and review tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular idea may be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a discussion in between the parties and encourage suggestions about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is particularly crucial 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 private process which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they wish to think about. This generally results in parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the program and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they belong to court proceedings. The mediator will also handle the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an important method of dealing with family disagreements effectively and amicably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.