Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, analyze the key advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a way of solving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure 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 meeting with each party individually (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are confidential and so the content will not be discussed with the other party.
following the specific meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Contract to Moderate form, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover however this will generally involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant information and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. 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 revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has taken place, one of the celebration’s lawyers 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 variety of benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any issues which might make mediation difficult or unsuitable. The advantages consist of:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collect monetary disclosure and assess tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific tip might be better.
When a decision 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 a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and private procedure which implies that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to consider. This typically results in parties making suggestions they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper 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 are part of court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also manage the procedure and guarantee that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an important method of dealing with family disagreements efficiently and agreeably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.