Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blogs, examine the key benefits of mediation and other methods of conflict resolution as a way of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and consider separately with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration separately (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are private and so the material will not be gone over with the other party.
First joint conference
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Moderate kind, handle any interim or pressing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the issues the parties wish to cover however this will normally involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant information and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. As soon as this has occurred, one of the celebration’s lawyers 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 benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will consider any problems which might make mediation inappropriate or difficult. The advantages include:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the program and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and handle its pace. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular idea may be much better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a personal and personal process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This usually leads to parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they are part of court proceedings. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also guarantee and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply an indispensable way of dealing with family disagreements effectively and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.