Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blog sites, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of fixing the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and think about individually with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party independently (this is often called a Mediation Details Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a little more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are private and so the material will not be discussed with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the private meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate form, deal with any interim or pushing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties want to cover however this will generally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant information and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. As soon as this has happened, one of the party’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 number of benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will think about any issues which might make mediation difficult or unsuitable. 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 confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters important to your own family and those which may 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 select the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and equally you can guarantee you each have enough time to collate monetary disclosure and assess tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular recommendation may be better.
When a decision 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.
mediation is a personal and private procedure which means that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to think about. This usually results in parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the agenda and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also handle the process and make sure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an indispensable way of fixing family disputes efficiently and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.