Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blogs, analyze the key advantages of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a way of resolving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and consider separately with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is often called a Mediation Info Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are personal and so the material will not be talked about with the other party.
following the specific meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is utilized to go through the Contract to Mediate form, deal with any interim or pressing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will usually involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant details and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to record in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. As soon as this has occurred, one of the party’s attorneys will normally 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 below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will consider any concerns which may make mediation hard or unsuitable. The advantages 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 verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to impose similar plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be much better.
a mediator’s function is to help with a dialogue between the parties and motivate tips about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction 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 private and confidential process which means that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to think about. This generally leads to parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings if effective. 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. The mediator will also handle the process and ensure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply a vital method of solving family disagreements effectively and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.