Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blogs, take a look at the crucial benefits of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a method of solving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and consider independently with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is often called a Mediation Details Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are confidential therefore the content will not be discussed with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the private meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties want to cover but this will usually include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent info and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has actually occurred, one of the celebration’s legal representatives 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, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will think about any problems which might make mediation inappropriate or difficult. 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 validate 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 process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and review tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular idea may be much better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue in between the parties and motivate suggestions 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 important for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a confidential and private process which means that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to consider. This usually results in parties making suggestions they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will likewise manage the procedure and guarantee that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can offer a vital method of solving family disputes efficiently and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.