Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a method of solving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and consider independently with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is often called a Mediation Info Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are personal therefore the content will not be gone over with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the individual meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate form, handle any interim or pressing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will generally involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the appropriate details and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general 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 record in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has actually taken place, one of the party’s attorneys will normally 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 number 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 solicitor will think about any concerns which may make mediation challenging 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 motivate the parties to set the agenda and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and handle its rate. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have adequate time to look at financial disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific suggestion might be much better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue in between the parties and encourage tips about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is developed to promote communication 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 confidential and personal procedure which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about choices they wish to think about. This usually leads to parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. The mediator will also guarantee and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can supply an indispensable way of resolving family conflicts successfully and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.