Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blog sites, examine the key benefits of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of solving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about separately with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration separately (this is typically called a Mediation Info Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary conferences are private and so the content will not be talked about with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover but this will normally include conversation around the plans 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 relevant information and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. Once this has happened, among the party’s attorneys will usually 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 benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any problems which may make mediation difficult 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 verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and assess tips made.
- Decisions 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 plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific suggestion might be much better.
When a decision 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.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and private process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they wish to think about. This usually leads to parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. The mediator will likewise manage the procedure and make sure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can provide an important way of resolving family disagreements successfully and amicably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.