Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, examine the essential benefits of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of solving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and consider separately with them whether there are any problems which would imply that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party independently (this is frequently called a Mediation Details Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are confidential therefore the content will not be discussed with the other celebration.
following the specific meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pushing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties wish 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 arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent details and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to record in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. Once this has happened, among the celebration’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 advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will think about any issues which might make mediation inappropriate or challenging. 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 verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its pace. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have adequate time to look at monetary disclosure and review tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific recommendation might be much better.
a mediator’s function is to assist in a dialogue in between the parties and encourage suggestions about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is designed to promote interaction 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 private and private process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about options they want to think about. This generally results in parties making tips 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 public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will also make sure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can supply an indispensable method of resolving family disagreements effectively and agreeably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.