Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, analyze the crucial advantages of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a way of solving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party independently (this is often called a Mediation Info Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are private therefore the material will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint conference
following the specific meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon 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 expedition of possible financial settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the relevant information and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to record in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. When this has actually taken place, one of the celebration’s legal representatives will typically turn the Memorandum of Comprehending into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The benefits of family mediation
There are a number of benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will think about any concerns which may make mediation unsuitable or difficult. 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time between sessions and manage its pace. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have sufficient time to look at monetary disclosure and assess recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific recommendation might be much better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a discussion in between the parties and motivate suggestions about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is developed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is particularly crucial for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private process which means that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This generally results in 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 public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they become part of court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise manage the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an invaluable way of solving family disagreements efficiently and amicably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.