Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blog sites, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other methods of conflict resolution as a method of resolving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and consider independently with them whether there are any concerns which would mean that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration independently (this is often called a Mediation Info Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are personal therefore the material will not be talked about with the other celebration.
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the problems the parties want to cover however this will usually involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In case an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant details and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than 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 wish to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has occurred, among the party’s lawyers will generally 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, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own lawyer will consider any issues which may make mediation difficult or unsuitable. The benefits 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 agenda and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters essential 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 location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and manage its rate. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have sufficient time to look at financial disclosure and review ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be much better.
a mediator’s function is to facilitate a discussion in between the parties and motivate suggestions about the outcome. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is designed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is especially 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 personal and private procedure which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they want to think about. This usually results in parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also manage the procedure and make sure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer a vital method of fixing family disputes efficiently and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.