Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blog sites, examine the essential benefits of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of resolving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider 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 celebration independently (this is typically called a Mediation Info Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are personal and so the content will not be discussed with the other party.
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate kind, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will typically involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant info and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. As soon as this has actually happened, one of the party’s legal representatives will typically 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 advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which may make mediation unsuitable or tough. 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its rate. 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 financial disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific recommendation may be much better.
a mediator’s function is to help with a dialogue in between the parties and encourage suggestions about the outcome. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is created to promote interaction and a continuous 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 confidential procedure which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they want to think about. This typically results in parties making ideas 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 general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the program and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will also manage the procedure and guarantee 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 proper cases it can provide an indispensable method of resolving family conflicts successfully and agreeably and it should be something that is motivated all year.