Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, examine the essential benefits of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a way of solving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally 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 indicate that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party independently (this is typically called a Mediation Info Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are confidential and so the material will not be gone over with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the private conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate form, handle any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will generally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent information and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in respect 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 suggestions on it. When this has happened, among the celebration’s lawyers 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 variety of advantages to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will consider any concerns which might make mediation difficult or inappropriate. The advantages include:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters important to your own family and those which might 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 between sessions and manage its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collate monetary disclosure and review tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular tip might be 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 designed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and confidential process which means that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to consider. This usually leads to parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they are part of court procedures. The mediator will likewise ensure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can supply an invaluable way of solving family disagreements efficiently and amicably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.