Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blog sites, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a method of dealing with the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
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 think about independently with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party independently (this is typically called a Mediation Info Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are private and so the material will not be talked about with the other celebration.
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the problems the parties wish to cover however this will typically 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 a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate details and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has occurred, among the celebration’s lawyers will typically 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 procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will consider any issues which might make mediation challenging or unsuitable. 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 agenda and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled 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 procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have enough time to collate financial disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular recommendation may be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a discussion in between the parties and motivate ideas about the outcome. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is designed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly crucial for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a personal and confidential process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they wish to consider. This normally results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they are part of court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise guarantee and handle the process that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can supply an indispensable method of resolving family conflicts effectively and agreeably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.