Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blogs, take a look at the essential benefits of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of resolving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about independently with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party independently (this is often called a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are private therefore the material will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint conference
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, 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 upon the concerns the parties want to cover however this will typically include conversation around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the relevant information and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to record in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has taken place, one of the party’s lawyers 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 variety of benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own lawyer will think about any issues which might make mediation hard or inappropriate. The advantages 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 program and confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can address matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and handle its speed. 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 enough time to look at financial disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular tip might be much better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue between the parties and motivate suggestions about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is especially important 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 choices they wish to think about. This generally results in parties making recommendations 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.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they belong to court proceedings. The mediator will likewise guarantee and manage 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 proper cases it can offer an important method of fixing family conflicts successfully and agreeably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.