Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blogs, take a look at the essential benefits of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a method of resolving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about independently with them whether there are any problems which would suggest that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party individually (this is often called a Mediation Details Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are personal and so the content will not be discussed with the other celebration.
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pushing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover however this will normally involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant details and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. When this has happened, among the celebration’s attorneys will generally turn the Memorandum of Comprehending 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, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any issues which might make mediation hard or unsuitable. 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 confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can address matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its pace. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to suit 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 specific suggestion might be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a discussion in between the parties and encourage tips about the outcome. 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 an ongoing 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 confidential and personal procedure which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about options they want to think about. This typically leads to parties making suggestions they would be reluctant 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.
- Costs and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will also manage the procedure and guarantee that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an invaluable way of dealing with family disagreements successfully and agreeably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.