Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blogs, analyze the crucial advantages of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of resolving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any problems which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is often called a Mediation Info Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are personal therefore the content will not be discussed with the other celebration.
following the individual meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, handle any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the problems the parties want to cover however this will usually include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant information and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary 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 file and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to document in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. When this has taken place, among the party’s attorneys will typically 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 variety of advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will think about any problems which might make mediation challenging 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 motivate the parties to set the program and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and handle its pace. You won’t need 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 look at monetary disclosure and review tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific suggestion may be much better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a discussion in between the parties and encourage suggestions about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is developed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly crucial for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal process which means that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This typically results in parties making ideas 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 general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the agenda and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will also ensure and handle the process that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an invaluable method of solving family disagreements efficiently and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.