Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blogs, take a look at the essential benefits of mediation and other methods of conflict resolution as a way of fixing the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and think about independently with them whether there are any concerns which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party independently (this is often called a Mediation Info Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are confidential therefore the content will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the specific meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Mediate type, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the problems the parties want to cover however this will usually include discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate information and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file 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 respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. As soon as this has occurred, one of 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 benefits of family mediation
There are a variety of benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will think about any problems which may make mediation inappropriate or difficult. 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 motivate the parties to set the agenda and confirm what they want 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 process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its pace. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific suggestion might be much 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 designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and confidential procedure which implies that parties are motivated to be open about options they want to think about. This normally results in parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they become part of court proceedings. The mediator will likewise handle the procedure and make sure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an invaluable method of fixing family disputes effectively and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.