Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blog sites, examine the crucial advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a way of resolving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation generally 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 individually with them whether there are any problems which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration individually (this is frequently called a Mediation Information Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are personal and so the material will not be discussed with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the specific meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Agreement to Mediate form, deal with any interim or pushing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend on the concerns the parties want to cover however this will generally involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can record the relevant details and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have actually had independent legal recommendations on it. As soon as this has happened, one of the party’s lawyers 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 procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own lawyer will consider any issues which might make mediation unsuitable or challenging. The advantages consist of:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters crucial 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 convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to look at financial disclosure and reflect on recommendations made.
- Decisions 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 impose similar plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be much 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 personal procedure which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about options they want to think about. This normally results in parties making tips 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 public eye.
- Costs and speed
if successful, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they are part of court proceedings. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also guarantee and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply an invaluable method of dealing with family disagreements effectively and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.