Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blog sites, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of solving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation generally begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and think about independently with them whether there are any issues which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Info Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are confidential therefore the material will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint conference
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Moderate form, handle any interim or pressing issues 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 but this will normally involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In case an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent information and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to record in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. When this has actually taken place, among the party’s attorneys will usually 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 process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any problems which might make mediation unsuitable or difficult. 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 validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time between sessions and handle its pace. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to look at monetary disclosure and reflect on recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific idea may be better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a discussion in 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 created to promote interaction 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 private process which means that parties are motivated to be open about options they want to consider. This usually results in parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they are part of court procedures. The mediator will also guarantee and handle the process that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can supply an indispensable method of fixing family conflicts efficiently and amicably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.