Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, analyze the key benefits of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a method of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and consider independently with them whether there are any problems which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration separately (this is often called a Mediation Information Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are confidential and so the content will not be discussed with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the private conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Contract to Moderate form, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend on the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will usually include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate details and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has occurred, one of the celebration’s attorneys 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 number of advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will think about any problems which may make mediation challenging or unsuitable. The benefits 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 motivate the parties to set the program and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and handle its speed. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and equally you can guarantee you each have adequate time to look at monetary disclosure and assess suggestions made.
- Decisions 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 impose comparable arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific tip may be much better.
When a decision 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.
mediation is a personal and private procedure which implies that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This normally leads to parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if successful, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will likewise handle the process and guarantee that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an indispensable method of fixing family disagreements efficiently and agreeably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.