Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blogs, examine the essential benefits of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a way of fixing the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party independently (this is typically called a Mediation Info Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a little more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are private and so the content will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties want to cover but this will usually involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant information and decisions in a variety of files 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 Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to record in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. When this has occurred, one of the celebration’s lawyers 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 below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own lawyer will consider any problems which may make mediation inappropriate or difficult. The advantages include:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the program and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant 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 between sessions and handle its pace. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have enough time to collect financial disclosure and assess recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular 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 created to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about options they want to think about. This typically leads to parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way 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 program and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they are part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise manage the process and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can provide an invaluable method of resolving family disputes successfully and amicably and it ought to be something that is motivated all year.