Today marks completion 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 advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a method of resolving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process 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 meeting with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Info Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are private therefore the material will not be discussed with the other party.
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is utilized to go through the Contract to Moderate type, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties want to cover however this will usually include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent information and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall 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 moms and dads want to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has actually happened, among the party’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 number of benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any issues which may make mediation challenging or unsuitable. The benefits 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 agenda and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its speed. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have enough time to collate monetary disclosure and review ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion may be much better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue between the parties and encourage recommendations 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 developed 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.
mediation is a personal and private procedure which means that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they wish to think about. This typically results in parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be cheaper 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 process than when they belong to court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise make sure and handle the process that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply an indispensable method of fixing family conflicts successfully and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.