Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blog sites, examine the key benefits of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of fixing the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and consider separately with them whether there are any problems which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration independently (this is frequently called a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are personal and so the content will not be discussed with the other party.
following the private conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Contract to Mediate kind, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the relevant details and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to record in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. Once this has actually occurred, among 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 advantages of family mediation
There are a variety of benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will consider any issues which might make mediation tough or unsuitable. The benefits include:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant 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 between sessions and manage its pace. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be much better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue between the parties and encourage recommendations about the outcome. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is particularly important for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and private process which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to think about. This normally 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 information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise handle the process and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can supply a vital method of resolving family disputes successfully and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.