Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blog sites, analyze the essential benefits of mediation and other approaches of conflict resolution as a method of dealing with the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration individually (this is typically called a Mediation Info Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are private therefore the material will not be discussed with the other party.
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate form, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will typically include discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate details and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has happened, one of 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 advantages of family mediation
There are a number of advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will think about any issues 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 wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve 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 hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its rate. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to look at monetary disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose similar plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular tip may be much better.
a mediator’s function is to help with a dialogue between the parties and motivate recommendations about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a confidential and personal process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they wish to think about. This typically leads to parties making tips they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the agenda and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise manage the process and make sure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can offer an indispensable method of fixing family disputes effectively and amicably and it should be something that is motivated all year.