Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of dealing with the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider individually with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration individually (this is frequently called a Mediation Details Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are personal therefore the material will not be discussed with the other celebration.
following the private meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend on the problems the parties want to cover however this will generally involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent information and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information 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 total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. Once this has happened, among the celebration’s lawyers 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 not right for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will consider any issues which may make mediation inappropriate or challenging. The benefits 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 verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific recommendation may be much better.
a mediator’s function is to assist in a discussion in between the parties and motivate 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 communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is especially important for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a private and personal process which means that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they wish to consider. This normally results in parties making tips they would hesitate 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 more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they are part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise ensure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an invaluable method of fixing family disagreements effectively and amicably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.