Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blog sites, analyze the key advantages of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a way of fixing the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose 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 mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration individually (this is often called a Mediation Information Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are personal therefore the content will not be gone over with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the individual 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 Contract to Moderate form, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the issues the parties want to cover but this will generally involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can record the relevant info and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has happened, among the party’s lawyers will usually 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 number of benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will think about any concerns which may make mediation unsuitable or difficult. The advantages 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 confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and handle its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to look at financial disclosure and reflect on recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific tip might be much better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a personal and confidential procedure which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they wish to consider. This typically leads to parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the program and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. The mediator will also handle 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 appropriate cases it can offer an invaluable method of resolving family disputes successfully and agreeably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.