Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blog sites, examine the crucial advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a way of solving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and think about individually with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Information Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a little more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary conferences are confidential therefore the material will not be discussed with the other party.
following the private conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Mediate kind, handle any interim or pushing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the problems the parties wish to cover however this will generally involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate information and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. When this has happened, among the party’s attorneys will usually turn the Memorandum of Understanding into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The benefits of family mediation
There are a variety of benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any problems which might make mediation difficult or unsuitable. The benefits consist of:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its pace. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to look at financial disclosure and assess ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion 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 an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a personal and private process which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to consider. This typically leads to parties making suggestions they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will also manage the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an invaluable way of resolving family conflicts effectively and amicably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.