Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, examine the key benefits of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a way of fixing the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration individually (this is frequently called a Mediation Information Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are confidential therefore the content will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the private conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Contract to Mediate type, handle any interim or pressing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the issues the parties wish to cover but this will usually involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate info and decisions in a number of documents 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 file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. When this has occurred, one of the celebration’s attorneys will generally turn the Memorandum of Comprehending into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The benefits of family mediation
There are a variety of advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will think about any concerns which may make mediation inappropriate or hard. The benefits consist of:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location convenient 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 happen in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to look at financial disclosure and assess ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific idea may 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 designed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and private process which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to think about. This normally results in parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also ensure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide a vital way of resolving family disagreements efficiently and amicably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.