Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blog sites, analyze the key advantages of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a way of fixing the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation generally 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 individually with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are personal and so the material will not be discussed with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the individual 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 Arrangement to Moderate kind, handle any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties want to cover but this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate information and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information 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 general choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has taken place, one of the celebration’s legal representatives will generally turn the Memorandum of Understanding into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The advantages of family mediation
There are a variety of benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will think about any concerns which might make mediation unsuitable or tough. The advantages consist of:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the agenda and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential 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 convenient to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time between sessions and manage its pace. 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 sufficient time to collate financial disclosure and assess ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular recommendation may be 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 developed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal procedure which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they wish to think about. This generally leads to parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. The mediator will also handle the process and make sure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide a vital method of fixing family conflicts successfully and amicably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.