Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, take a look at the key benefits of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a method of solving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration independently (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are personal therefore the content will not be talked about with the other party.
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is utilized to go through the Contract to Mediate form, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties want to cover however this will typically involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate information and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to record in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. As soon as this has happened, one of the party’s legal representatives 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 number of advantages to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any concerns 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 encourage the parties to set the program and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can address matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its pace. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to look at financial disclosure and review tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific recommendation may 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 designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a personal and personal process which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they wish to consider. This usually results in parties making tips they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a way 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 belong to court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise handle the process and make sure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an important way of solving family disputes successfully and agreeably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.