Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of fixing the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and consider independently with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration separately (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are private and so the material will not be talked about with the other celebration.
following the private meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Agreement to Mediate type, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will usually 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 agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate information and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
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 proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to document in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. When this has actually occurred, among the celebration’s legal representatives will typically 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 procedure, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will think about any issues which might make mediation hard or inappropriate. 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its rate. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collate financial disclosure and review ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion 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 designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal process which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about options they want to consider. This normally leads to parties making recommendations 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 general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also manage the procedure and guarantee that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an important way of fixing family disputes successfully and amicably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.