Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, examine the key advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a method of resolving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party independently (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are personal and so the content will not be talked about with the other celebration.
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the problems the parties want to cover however this will generally involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate information and decisions in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations 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 regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. As soon as this has happened, one of the party’s lawyers will normally 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, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will think about any issues which may make mediation challenging or unsuitable. The advantages include:
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 essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- 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 handle its rate. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have enough time to collate monetary disclosure and assess recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific idea might be much 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 designed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and personal procedure which means that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they wish to think about. This usually results in parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will likewise manage the process and ensure 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 an invaluable way of solving family disagreements effectively and agreeably and it should be something that is motivated all year.