Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blog sites, take a look at the crucial advantages of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a way of solving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose 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 imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration individually (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are personal therefore the material will not be gone over with the other party.
following the private conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Agreement to Mediate kind, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover however this will generally include discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent info and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to record in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has taken place, among the celebration’s lawyers will normally 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 process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will consider any concerns which might make mediation difficult or inappropriate. The benefits 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 confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its rate. 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 adequate time to look at financial disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be better.
a mediator’s function is to assist in a dialogue in between the parties and motivate recommendations about the outcome. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is especially essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a private and private process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about options they want to consider. This generally leads to parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will likewise make sure and handle the process that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an indispensable method of resolving family conflicts effectively and agreeably and it must be something that is motivated all year.