Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blogs, examine the key advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of solving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and think about independently with them whether there are any problems which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration independently (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are confidential and so the content will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint conference
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, handle any interim or pushing problems 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 but this will normally include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent information and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal recommendations on it. When this has taken place, among the party’s legal representatives will typically 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 advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any issues which might make mediation challenging or inappropriate. 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 program and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to 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 hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. 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 sufficient time to collate monetary disclosure and review tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific suggestion may be much better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue between the parties and encourage ideas about the outcome. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is created to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is particularly essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private process which means that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This typically results in parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures if successful. By setting the agenda and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. The mediator will also manage the procedure and guarantee that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an invaluable method of solving family conflicts successfully and amicably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.