Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blog sites, take a look at the essential advantages of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of dealing with the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins 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 process and consider individually with them whether there are any concerns which would indicate that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration independently (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are personal and so the content will not be gone over with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the private conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Arrangement to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties want to cover however this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that 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’ monetary information 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 general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to record in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal advice on it. Once this has occurred, one of the party’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 number 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 may make mediation challenging 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 program and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collate financial disclosure and review tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be much better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a confidential and personal process which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about options they want to think about. This generally results in parties making tips 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 effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. The mediator will also manage the process and make sure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an indispensable method of fixing family disputes effectively and agreeably and it must be something that is motivated all year.