Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, analyze the crucial advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a way of solving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any problems which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration independently (this is typically called a Mediation Info Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are confidential and so the material will not be talked about with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the individual 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 Arrangement to Moderate form, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will typically involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent information and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in respect of the day to day 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 taken place, one of the celebration’s legal representatives will usually 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 advantages to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will think about any issues which may make mediation inappropriate or difficult. The benefits 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 wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- 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 manage its rate. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have sufficient time to look at monetary disclosure and assess recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular recommendation might be much better.
When a choice 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.
mediation is a personal and confidential process which means that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to think about. This typically results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will also manage the process and make sure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an important method of resolving family conflicts successfully and agreeably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.