Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, take a look at the crucial benefits of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a method of fixing the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider separately with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Details Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are private and so the material will not be gone over with the other celebration.
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate form, deal with any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will generally include conversation around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate details and decisions in a number 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 file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has actually happened, among the celebration’s attorneys will usually 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 benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own lawyer will think about any problems which may make mediation unsuitable or tough. 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 verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with 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 location convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its speed. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have adequate time to look at monetary disclosure and reflect on tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular suggestion may be much better.
a mediator’s role is to help with a discussion between the parties and motivate ideas about the outcome. 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 interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is especially crucial for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a personal and private process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to think about. This generally leads to parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures 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 become part of court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also ensure and handle the process that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an important way of resolving family disputes effectively and amicably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.