Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, take a look at the key benefits of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of fixing the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party individually (this is frequently called a Mediation Information Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are private therefore the material will not be talked about with the other celebration.
following the private conferences, 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 Contract to Moderate type, deal with any interim or pushing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will typically involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate information and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to record in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. Once this has happened, among the party’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 variety of advantages to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will consider any issues which may make mediation hard or unsuitable. 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 program and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can address 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 place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have adequate time to look at financial disclosure and assess suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to impose similar plans or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific recommendation might be much better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and confidential process which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This generally results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they are part of court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise make sure and handle the process that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an invaluable way of fixing family disputes successfully and amicably and it should be something that is motivated all year.