Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blog sites, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a way of fixing the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider independently with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party independently (this is often called a Mediation Information Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a little more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are personal and so the material will not be gone over with the other celebration.
following the private 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 Arrangement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pressing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the problems the parties want to cover but this will normally involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent information and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to document in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has occurred, among the celebration’s attorneys will generally turn the Memorandum of Comprehending into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The benefits of family mediation
There are a variety of advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any problems which might make mediation tough or inappropriate. 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 agenda and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular 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 designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and private procedure which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about options they want to think about. This generally leads to parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the program and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they belong to court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise handle the process and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an indispensable way of dealing with family disputes successfully and amicably and it should be something that is motivated all year.