Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blogs, take a look at the crucial benefits of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a way of resolving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any problems which would suggest that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration individually (this is typically called a Mediation Information Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are confidential therefore the material will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate form, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the issues the parties want to cover however this will generally involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant information and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to document in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has actually occurred, among the celebration’s lawyers 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 benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any problems which might make mediation difficult or inappropriate. The benefits 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 program and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and handle its rate. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and similarly 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 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 actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific tip might be much better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private procedure which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to consider. This normally results in parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise guarantee and handle the process that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can supply an invaluable method of dealing with family conflicts effectively and agreeably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.