Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, examine the key benefits of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a way of fixing the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about separately with them whether there are any problems which would suggest that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is often called a Mediation Information Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are confidential therefore the content will not be gone over with the other party.
following the specific meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the problems the parties wish to cover however this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent information and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. 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 disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. When this has actually taken place, 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 benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will consider any concerns 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 agenda and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have enough time to collate monetary disclosure and assess recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific tip might be much better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a dialogue in between the parties and motivate suggestions about the outcome. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is developed 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.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal procedure which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they want to consider. This generally results in parties making tips they would be reluctant 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.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the program and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise ensure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer a vital way of resolving family conflicts efficiently and agreeably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.