Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blogs, analyze the crucial advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a method of resolving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation usually begins 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 consider individually with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a little more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are confidential and so the material will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the private conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate form, handle any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend on the concerns the parties want to cover but this will usually involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent details and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to record in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. When this has happened, one of the party’s attorneys will normally 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 number of benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any problems which may make mediation unsuitable or difficult. 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 motivate the parties to set the agenda and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time between sessions and manage its rate. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collect monetary disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit 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 specific recommendation may be better.
a mediator’s role is to help with a discussion in between the parties and motivate tips about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is especially essential for moms and dads 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 means that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they wish to consider. This normally leads to parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise guarantee and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an invaluable method of fixing family disagreements effectively and amicably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.