Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blogs, take a look at the crucial advantages of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a way of resolving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about separately with them whether there are any concerns which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration independently (this is often called a Mediation Details Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are private therefore the content will not be gone over with the other party.
First joint conference
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate form, deal with any interim or pushing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover but this will generally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant details and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary info 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 revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. As soon as this has actually taken place, among the party’s legal representatives will normally 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, 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 inappropriate or difficult. The benefits 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 motivate the parties to set the program and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential 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 convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its rate. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and similarly you can guarantee you each have adequate time to collate monetary disclosure and assess ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose similar plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be better.
a mediator’s role is to help with a dialogue between the parties and encourage suggestions about the outcome. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is particularly crucial for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and personal procedure which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about options they want to think about. This typically leads to parties making tips they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures if effective. 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 procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also make sure and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer a vital way of fixing family disagreements effectively and agreeably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.