Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, examine the crucial advantages of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a method of solving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation generally begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and consider individually with them whether there are any problems which would suggest that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party independently (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are personal therefore the material will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint conference
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 meeting is used to go through the Contract to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the issues the parties wish to cover but this will typically involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant information and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to record 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 recommendations on it. When this has taken place, among the party’s legal representatives will generally 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 a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which may make mediation difficult or unsuitable. 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 program and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its rate. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific recommendation might be better.
When a decision 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 interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and private process which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they wish to consider. This typically results in parties making recommendations they would hesitate 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
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they are part of court proceedings. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise ensure and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an important way of fixing family conflicts effectively and agreeably and it must be something that is motivated all year.