Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, take a look at the key advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a way of resolving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and consider separately with them whether there are any problems which would imply that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration independently (this is often called a Mediation Information Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are private therefore the material will not be discussed with the other celebration.
following the individual meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Agreement to Moderate form, handle any interim or pressing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will typically include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant information and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to record in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. Once this has happened, among the celebration’s legal representatives 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 process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any problems which might make mediation difficult or unsuitable. 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can address 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 convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have enough time to look at financial disclosure and review suggestions 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 arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular suggestion may be much better.
a mediator’s function is to assist in a dialogue between the parties and motivate tips about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is especially crucial for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and private process which means that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they wish to consider. This usually leads to parties making suggestions they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures if successful. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise handle the procedure and guarantee that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an important way of fixing family disputes efficiently and agreeably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.