Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, analyze the key benefits of mediation and other approaches of conflict resolution as a way of solving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally 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 independently with them whether there are any problems which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party independently (this is frequently called a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are personal therefore the content will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the specific meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Mediate form, handle any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the issues the parties want to cover however this will normally include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent info and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has actually taken place, among the celebration’s legal representatives will generally turn the Memorandum of Comprehending into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The benefits of family mediation
There are a number of benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will consider any issues which may make mediation tough or unsuitable. 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have sufficient time to look at financial disclosure and assess suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific recommendation may be much better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a discussion between the parties and motivate tips about the outcome. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is especially essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal procedure which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to think about. This usually leads to parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they become part of court procedures. The mediator will also ensure 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 provide an invaluable way of fixing family disagreements effectively and agreeably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.