Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blog sites, take a look at the key benefits of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a way of fixing the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration individually (this is often called a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are confidential and so the material will not be gone over with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the individual conferences, 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 Contract to Moderate form, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent details and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in regard of the day to day 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 occurred, one of the celebration’s attorneys 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 benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will think about any problems which may make mediation inappropriate or challenging. The benefits consist of:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the agenda and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter 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 between sessions and handle its rate. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collate financial disclosure and review ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific tip might be much better.
a mediator’s role is to help with a discussion between the parties and motivate tips 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 developed to promote communication 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 confidential and personal process which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they wish to consider. This usually leads to parties making suggestions they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the program and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will also ensure and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an indispensable way of fixing family disputes effectively and agreeably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.