Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blog sites, analyze the key advantages of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a method of fixing the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and think about individually with them whether there are any problems which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary conferences are private therefore the material will not be discussed with the other party.
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate type, handle any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the problems the parties want to cover however this will typically include discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation 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 appropriate info and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open rather than 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 revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads 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 actually had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has taken place, among 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 advantages to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will consider any problems which might make mediation inappropriate or challenging. 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 agenda and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential 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 practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its rate. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and reflect on tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements 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 most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a personal and confidential procedure which implies that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to consider. This typically results in parties making suggestions they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be more affordable 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 proceedings. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also guarantee and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an invaluable method of resolving family disputes effectively and amicably and it should be something that is motivated all year.