Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blog sites, analyze the crucial advantages of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a way of dealing with the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and consider independently with them whether there are any concerns which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration separately (this is often called a Mediation Details Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are confidential therefore the content will not be gone over 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 meeting is used to go through the Contract to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will typically involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the relevant details and decisions in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. When this has happened, 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 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 not right for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own lawyer will think about any issues which might make mediation inappropriate or tough. The advantages consist of:
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 validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and handle its pace. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have sufficient time to look at financial disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific suggestion may be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a discussion in between the parties and motivate ideas about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly crucial for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private process which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about options they want to think about. This generally results in parties making suggestions they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they become part of court procedures. The mediator will likewise make sure and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can provide an invaluable method of fixing family disagreements efficiently and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.