Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blogs, examine the key benefits of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a method of fixing the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider separately with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party independently (this is frequently called a Mediation Details Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are confidential and so the content will not be gone over with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the private conferences, if the parties want 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 Moderate type, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties want to cover however this will usually involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate information and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have actually had independent legal recommendations on it. When this has actually happened, one of the celebration’s lawyers will usually 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 process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will consider any issues which might make mediation inappropriate or tough. 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 confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can address matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and handle its pace. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and assess recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific idea may 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 communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and personal procedure which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This generally results in parties making tips 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 less expensive and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also handle the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can offer a vital way of resolving family disagreements effectively and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.