Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blog sites, take a look at the key advantages of mediation and other methods of conflict resolution as a way of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider independently with them whether there are any concerns which would imply that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party independently (this is often called a Mediation Information Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are private and so the content will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint conference
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend on the problems the parties want to cover but this will typically involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent info and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
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 proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to document 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. As soon as this has taken place, one of the celebration’s attorneys will usually 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 everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any problems which might make mediation unsuitable or difficult. The advantages consist of:
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 verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to 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 place practical to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and handle its speed. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have enough time to collect financial disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to impose similar plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular tip might be much better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal process which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they wish to think about. This normally leads to parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a method 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 agenda and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will also make sure and handle the process that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an invaluable method of solving family disagreements efficiently and agreeably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.