Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, examine the crucial advantages of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a method of dealing with the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider individually with them whether there are any issues which would suggest that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration independently (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are personal and so the material will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint conference
following the individual meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Mediate form, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover however this will usually include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate info and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to document in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has happened, one of 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 advantages 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 lawyer will consider any issues which may make mediation tough or inappropriate. 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 encourage 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 be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and manage its rate. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to collate financial disclosure and reflect on recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular tip may be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a dialogue between the parties and motivate recommendations about the result. When a choice 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 a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is particularly crucial for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal procedure which means that parties are motivated to be open about choices they wish to consider. This normally leads to parties making suggestions they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the program and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise guarantee and handle the process that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply a vital method of dealing with family conflicts successfully and agreeably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.