Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, analyze the essential benefits of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a way of resolving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation usually begins 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 procedure and consider separately with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Info Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary conferences are confidential therefore the material will not be gone over with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the private conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate kind, handle any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the problems the parties wish to cover however this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate info and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the total choices 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 moms and dads want to record in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have actually had independent legal recommendations on it. As soon as this has actually taken place, among the celebration’s legal representatives 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 variety of advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own lawyer will consider any problems which may make mediation inappropriate or challenging. 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 verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to collate financial disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific tip might be much better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal procedure which means that parties are motivated to be open about choices they wish to consider. This typically leads to parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the program and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. The mediator will also ensure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an important method of dealing with family disputes successfully and agreeably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.