Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blog sites, analyze the essential benefits of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a way of fixing the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any concerns which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration separately (this is frequently called a Mediation Information Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are confidential therefore the material will not be discussed with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the private meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Moderate form, handle any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the problems the parties wish to cover however this will typically involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate details and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has actually taken place, among the party’s legal representatives 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 variety of advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will think about any issues which might make mediation hard or unsuitable. The advantages 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 program and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve 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 place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and handle its rate. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific tip may be 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 developed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and personal procedure which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they wish to consider. This usually leads to parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the program and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will also handle the procedure and make sure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can provide an invaluable way of resolving family disputes successfully and agreeably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.