Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, examine the key advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and think about independently with them whether there are any problems which would indicate that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are confidential therefore the material will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate kind, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties want to cover however this will normally include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation 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 variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to record in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has occurred, one of 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 advantages of family mediation
There are a number of benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which may make mediation hard or inappropriate. The advantages consist of:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and handle its pace. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and reflect on tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular idea might be better.
a mediator’s function is to help with a dialogue between the parties and encourage recommendations about the outcome. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly important for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a personal and personal process which implies that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they wish to think about. This normally leads to parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have far 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.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an important method of solving family disagreements successfully and agreeably and it ought to be something that is motivated all year.