Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is often called a Mediation Information Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are confidential and so the content will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint meeting
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 used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate form, handle any interim or pushing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover however this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent info and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to record in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has actually 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 benefits of family mediation
There are a variety of benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will think about any problems which may make mediation inappropriate or challenging. The advantages include:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the agenda and confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can address matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select 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 procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collect financial disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This remains 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 may be much better.
a mediator’s role is to help with a discussion in between the parties and encourage ideas about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal procedure which means that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This usually results in parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the agenda and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they become part of court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise ensure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an important way of resolving family disagreements effectively and amicably and it ought to be something that is motivated all year.