Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blog sites, take a look at the essential advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of resolving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider independently with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration individually (this is often called a Mediation Details Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are personal and so the content will not be discussed with the other celebration.
following the specific meetings, 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 form, handle any interim or pushing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will usually include conversation around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent info and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. 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 procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has occurred, one of the party’s legal representatives 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 number of benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will think about any concerns which may make mediation unsuitable or hard. The advantages consist of:
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 wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and handle its pace. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have adequate time to collect financial disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific suggestion may be much better.
a mediator’s function is to facilitate a discussion between the parties and encourage tips about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is developed to promote communication and an ongoing 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 private and private procedure which implies that parties are motivated to be open about choices they wish to consider. This usually results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also manage the process and make sure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an indispensable way of fixing family disagreements successfully and amicably and it should be something that is motivated all year.