Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blogs, analyze the essential advantages of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of solving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about independently with them whether there are any problems which would indicate that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration separately (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are personal and so the content will not be discussed with the other party.
following the private conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Agreement to Moderate type, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the issues the parties want to cover but this will generally include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent information and decisions in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to record 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 suggestions on it. When this has taken place, among the celebration’s legal representatives will generally 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 variety of benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will think about any problems which might make mediation inappropriate or hard. The advantages 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 agenda and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can address matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time between sessions and handle its rate. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have enough time to look at financial disclosure and review tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific suggestion may be better.
a mediator’s function is to facilitate a discussion in between the parties and motivate ideas 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 crucial for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal procedure which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they wish to consider. This usually leads to parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
if successful, mediation can be less expensive 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 process than when they become part of court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise guarantee and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can supply a vital method of dealing with family disputes effectively and agreeably and it ought to be something that is motivated all year.