Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blog sites, take a look at the crucial benefits of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of solving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about independently with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Info Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are confidential therefore the content will not be discussed 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 used to go through the Contract to Mediate form, handle any interim or pressing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the problems the parties wish to cover but this will typically involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant details and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. When this has actually taken place, among the celebration’s attorneys will usually turn the Memorandum of Comprehending into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The advantages of family mediation
There are a variety of benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any concerns which may make mediation inappropriate or tough. 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You will not need 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 collect financial disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific tip 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 created to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and personal procedure which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about choices they wish to think about. This typically leads to parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they are part of court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also guarantee and handle the process that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can provide an indispensable way of solving family conflicts successfully and amicably and it should be something that is motivated all year.