Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blog sites, analyze the crucial advantages of mediation and other approaches of conflict resolution as a way of dealing with the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any problems which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party individually (this is often called a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are personal therefore the material will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the specific meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Contract to Mediate form, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties want to cover however this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent details and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions 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 parents want to document in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has happened, one of 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 benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will think about any problems which may make mediation challenging or inappropriate. The advantages 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 confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and manage its rate. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and similarly you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collect monetary disclosure and assess recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular tip may be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a discussion in between the parties and encourage tips about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is designed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is particularly 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 confidential procedure which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to think about. This normally results in parties making suggestions they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures if successful. By setting the agenda and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. The mediator will likewise make sure and manage the process that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can offer a vital way of resolving family conflicts efficiently and amicably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.