Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blog sites, take a look at the crucial benefits of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a method of resolving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and consider separately with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Info Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are confidential therefore the material will not be gone over with the other celebration.
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend on the issues the parties want to cover however this will usually involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant details and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to record in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. When this has actually occurred, one of the celebration’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 procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any problems which may make mediation tough or inappropriate. 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 program and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- 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 handle its rate. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific suggestion may be much better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue between the parties and motivate recommendations about the outcome. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is created to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is especially essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private process which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This usually results in parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they are part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise handle the process and guarantee that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer a vital way of fixing family disputes efficiently and agreeably and it must be something that is motivated all year.