Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blogs, take a look at the key advantages of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation generally begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider individually with them whether there are any concerns which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is frequently called a Mediation Information Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are confidential therefore the content will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, handle any interim or pushing 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 but this will typically involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent details and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. As soon as this has actually happened, among the celebration’s lawyers 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 process, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody 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 program and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can address matters essential to your own family and those which may 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 pick the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You will not have 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 collate financial disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific idea may be 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 a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal procedure which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about options they want to consider. This usually results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they become part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise ensure and manage the process that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer a vital way of resolving family disagreements efficiently and amicably and it ought to be something that is motivated all year.