Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blogs, analyze the essential benefits of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a way of fixing the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally starts 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 process and think about separately with them whether there are any concerns which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Info Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are confidential and so the material will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint conference
following the specific meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Mediate form, handle any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the issues the parties want to cover but this will usually include discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent details and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has actually happened, 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 advantages to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any problems which might make mediation challenging or inappropriate. 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 motivate the parties to set the agenda and confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and handle its rate. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and review ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar plans or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular idea might be better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal procedure which means that parties are motivated to be open about options they want to think about. This normally leads to parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the program and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they are part of court procedures. The mediator will also ensure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an important way of fixing family disputes successfully and amicably and it should be something that is motivated all year.