Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a way of fixing the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any problems which would suggest that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration individually (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are personal and so the content will not be talked about with the other party.
following the specific meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate kind, handle any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend on the issues the parties want to cover but this will usually involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the relevant details and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed 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 everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has actually taken place, among the party’s attorneys will usually 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 benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which may make mediation inappropriate or tough. 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and verify 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 practical to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collate monetary disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular tip may be much better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a dialogue in between the parties and motivate suggestions about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is especially important for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and private procedure which implies that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to think about. This usually results in parties making suggestions they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the program and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise ensure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an indispensable method of dealing with family disagreements effectively and agreeably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.