Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blog sites, take a look at the crucial advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a method of dealing with the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and consider separately with them whether there are any issues which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration independently (this is frequently called a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are private and so the content will not be discussed with the other celebration.
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate kind, handle any interim or pressing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend on the issues the parties want to cover but this will generally involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent details and decisions in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has occurred, among the celebration’s attorneys 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 procedure, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any problems which might make mediation hard or inappropriate. 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 motivate the parties to set the agenda and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters crucial 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 place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and assess recommendations made.
- Decisions 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 impose comparable arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific recommendation might be better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue between the parties and encourage tips about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is developed to promote communication and a continuous 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 personal and private procedure which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to consider. This usually results in parties making tips they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise make sure and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide a vital way of resolving family disputes successfully and agreeably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.