Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blogs, analyze the crucial benefits of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of solving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and consider individually with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration independently (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are personal therefore the content will not be talked about with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover but this will generally involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the appropriate details and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
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 arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has happened, among the party’s attorneys will usually 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 number of advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will think about any issues which may make mediation hard or unsuitable. The benefits consist of:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and confirm 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 location convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its rate. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to look at monetary disclosure and assess suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions 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 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 interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal procedure which means that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to think about. This normally leads to parties making suggestions they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the agenda and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. The mediator will also handle the procedure and ensure 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 provide an indispensable method of resolving family disagreements efficiently and amicably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.