Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blog sites, analyze the key advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a method of solving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider individually with them whether there are any problems which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is often called a Mediation Information Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary conferences are personal and so the content will not be talked about with the other party.
following the individual conferences, if the parties want 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 Mediate kind, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will normally involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate details and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file 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 document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have actually had independent legal recommendations on it. When this has taken place, one of the celebration’s lawyers 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, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which might make mediation inappropriate or tough. The benefits 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 motivate the parties to set the agenda and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have enough time to look at financial disclosure and assess ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized 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 not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular tip might be much better.
When a choice 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.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and confidential process which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about choices they wish to consider. This usually leads to parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures if successful. By setting the agenda and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also handle the process and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply an important way of fixing family disputes successfully and agreeably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.