Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blog sites, analyze the crucial benefits of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a method of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a brief 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 separately with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party independently (this is typically called a Mediation Information Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are private therefore the content will not be talked about with the other party.
following the specific meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate kind, handle any interim or pushing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will usually involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant info and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to record in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. Once this has actually taken place, one of the party’s lawyers will usually 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 variety of advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor 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 encourage the parties to set the program and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can address matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and manage its pace. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have adequate time to collate monetary disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific tip may be better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is designed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and confidential process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they wish to think about. This normally leads to parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise handle the procedure and guarantee that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can supply a vital method of resolving family conflicts efficiently and amicably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.