Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blogs, take a look at the key benefits of mediation and other approaches of conflict resolution as a way of resolving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and consider separately with them whether there are any concerns which would imply that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration individually (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are personal and so the material will not be gone over with the other party.
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Mediate type, handle any interim or pushing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend on the issues the parties want to cover but this will generally involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant information and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the total 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 want to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. As soon as this has taken place, one of the celebration’s attorneys will generally 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 process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own lawyer will think about any issues which might make mediation tough or unsuitable. The advantages consist of:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the program and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and manage its pace. 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 financial disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular idea might be better.
a mediator’s function is to assist in a discussion between the parties and motivate recommendations 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 developed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is especially crucial for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private procedure which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about choices they wish 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 method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures if successful. By setting the agenda and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. The mediator will likewise guarantee and manage the process that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can supply an invaluable way of resolving family disputes efficiently and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.