Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, examine the crucial advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a way of fixing the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider individually with them whether there are any problems 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 Details Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are confidential and so the material will not be discussed with the other party.
following the individual conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend on the concerns the parties want to cover however this will typically include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In case an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant details and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. As soon as this has actually happened, among the celebration’s legal representatives will usually 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, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will consider any issues which may make mediation unsuitable or hard. 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 address matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter 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 handle its rate. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be much better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and personal process which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they want to consider. This usually leads to parties making suggestions 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.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the agenda and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise handle the process and make sure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an indispensable way of solving family conflicts effectively and agreeably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.