Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blogs, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a method of resolving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and consider individually with them whether there are any problems which would suggest that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary conferences are personal therefore the material will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint conference
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Arrangement to Mediate kind, handle any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover but this will typically include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the appropriate details and decisions in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to record in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. When this has actually taken place, among the celebration’s legal representatives 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 procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any problems which may make mediation hard or inappropriate. 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 confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and handle its rate. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and similarly you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collate financial disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular tip may 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 developed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private procedure which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to think about. This typically results in parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the program and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they become part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise manage the process and make sure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an invaluable method of solving family conflicts effectively and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.