Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, analyze the crucial benefits of mediation and other approaches of conflict resolution as a way of resolving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins 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 think about independently with them whether there are any concerns which would imply that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party individually (this is often called a Mediation Info Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are confidential therefore the material will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint conference
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate form, deal with 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 problems the parties want to cover however this will usually involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate details and decisions in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed 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 day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. When this has happened, 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, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which might make mediation inappropriate or challenging. 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 motivate the parties to set the agenda and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters important to your own family and those which might 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 manage its rate. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to look at financial disclosure and assess ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be much better.
a mediator’s function is to assist in a dialogue in between the parties and motivate ideas about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is designed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a private and private process which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to think about. This usually results in parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court procedures. 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 effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and choosing 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 also manage the process and guarantee that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an invaluable way of solving family disagreements effectively and agreeably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.