Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blog sites, analyze the key advantages of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a way of solving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and think about independently with them whether there are any problems which would indicate that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party independently (this is often called a Mediation Info Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are confidential therefore the material will not be discussed with the other party.
following the individual conferences, 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 Agreement to Moderate form, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend on the concerns the parties want to cover but this will normally involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate info and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to record in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have actually had independent legal recommendations on it. As soon as this has occurred, one of the celebration’s lawyers will typically 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 advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will think about any issues which may make mediation challenging 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 encourage the parties to set the program and confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and handle its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have adequate time to look at financial disclosure and review tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific tip might be much better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and personal process which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they wish to consider. This typically results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures if successful. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure 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.
Although family mediation has remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an important way of resolving family disputes efficiently and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.