Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, analyze the essential advantages of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of solving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider separately with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Information Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are personal therefore the material will not be gone over with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the private meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pressing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties want to cover but this will generally involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant information and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. 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 document and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has actually happened, among the celebration’s attorneys will typically turn the Memorandum of Comprehending into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The benefits of family mediation
There are a number of benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will consider any problems which may make mediation unsuitable or challenging. The advantages 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 deal with matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and equally you can guarantee you each have adequate time to collect financial disclosure and assess ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion may be much better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and confidential procedure which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to consider. This typically results in parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a way 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 effective. By setting the agenda and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also make sure and handle the process that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an invaluable method of resolving family disagreements effectively and agreeably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.