Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, examine the key advantages of mediation and other methods of conflict resolution as a method of solving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about separately with them whether there are any concerns which would indicate that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration individually (this is frequently called a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are private therefore the content will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the issues the parties want to cover but this will usually include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant info and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to record in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has taken place, among the celebration’s legal representatives will normally 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 number of benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will think about any issues which may make mediation hard or unsuitable. The advantages 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 verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can address matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its pace. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collect financial disclosure and assess ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific recommendation may be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a dialogue between the parties and encourage recommendations about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created 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 personal and private process which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to think about. This generally results in parties making suggestions they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. 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 successful, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they are part of court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise manage the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can supply an invaluable way of fixing family disagreements efficiently and agreeably and it must be something that is motivated all year.