Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, analyze the crucial benefits of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a method of fixing the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and consider independently with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are confidential and so the material will not be gone over with the other celebration.
following the individual meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Mediate kind, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties want to cover but this will usually involve conversation around the plans 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 the appropriate details and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to document in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. When this has happened, one of the party’s legal representatives will normally turn the Memorandum of Understanding into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The advantages of family mediation
There are a number of advantages to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which may make mediation challenging or inappropriate. The benefits 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 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 matter 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 manage its rate. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have enough time to collect monetary disclosure and review tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific suggestion may be better.
a mediator’s role is to help with a dialogue in between the parties and motivate recommendations about the outcome. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is designed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly crucial for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and confidential process which means that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to think about. This generally results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures if successful. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they become part of court procedures. The mediator will also guarantee and manage the process that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply a vital way of fixing family disputes successfully and agreeably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.