Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, take a look at the essential benefits of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of fixing the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider independently with them whether there are any concerns which would indicate that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are personal and so the content will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint conference
following the specific meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend on the problems the parties wish to cover however this will normally involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent information and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has actually taken place, among the party’s lawyers will usually 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 procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will consider any problems which may make mediation unsuitable or hard. The advantages consist of:
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 program and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to look at monetary disclosure and reflect on tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable plans or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific recommendation might be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a dialogue between the parties and encourage tips about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote interaction and an ongoing 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 private and personal process which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to think about. This normally results in parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the program and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will likewise ensure and manage the process 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 offer an important method of dealing with family disputes efficiently and amicably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.