Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, take a look at the essential benefits of mediation and other approaches of conflict resolution as a method of resolving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is often called a Mediation Details Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are confidential and so the material will not be gone over 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 used to go through the Contract to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the issues the parties want to cover however this will usually involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent 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 instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has taken place, one of the party’s attorneys 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 number of benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will think about any concerns which might make mediation challenging or unsuitable. The benefits 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 verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and handle its pace. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collate monetary disclosure and reflect on tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific idea may be better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a discussion between the parties and motivate suggestions about the outcome. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is designed to promote interaction and a continuous 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 personal procedure which implies that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to consider. This typically leads to parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the program and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they become part of court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise guarantee and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an important way of resolving family disputes efficiently and agreeably and it must be something that is motivated all year.