Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, take a look at the crucial advantages of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of dealing with the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about independently with them whether there are any issues which would suggest that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is often called a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are personal and so the material will not be discussed with the other party.
following the individual meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Moderate form, deal with any interim or pushing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the problems the parties want to cover however this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In case an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent info and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. Once this has occurred, one of the party’s legal representatives 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 number of benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which may make mediation inappropriate or challenging. 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 address matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and handle its speed. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and reflect on tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular idea may be better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private procedure which means that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to think about. This normally leads to parties making suggestions they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the program and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they are part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also manage the process and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply an invaluable way of resolving family disagreements effectively and amicably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.