Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site 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 conflict resolution as a way of dealing with the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any concerns which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party independently (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are confidential and so the material will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint conference
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Mediate type, handle any interim or pressing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties want to cover but this will usually include discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent info and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to record in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has occurred, one of the celebration’s attorneys will generally 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 process, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will consider any problems which might make mediation challenging or inappropriate. The advantages 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You pick 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 equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collate monetary disclosure and reflect on recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular tip may be much better.
a mediator’s role is to help with a discussion between the parties and encourage suggestions about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is particularly important for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a personal and private procedure which implies that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to consider. This typically leads to parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
if successful, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they become part of court procedures. The mediator will likewise manage the process and guarantee that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an invaluable way of dealing with family disputes efficiently and agreeably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.