Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blog sites, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a way of fixing the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any problems which would imply that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration independently (this is typically called a Mediation Information Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are confidential therefore the material will not be gone over with the other party.
First joint conference
following the private meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Moderate kind, handle 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 wish to cover however this will usually involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent information and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total choices 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 wish to document in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement 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 legal representatives will typically turn the Memorandum of Understanding 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 wrong for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will think about 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 program and confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters essential 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 location 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 occur in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have adequate time to look at financial disclosure and assess recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific recommendation may be better.
a mediator’s function is to help with a dialogue between the parties and encourage ideas about the result. 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 interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is especially essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and confidential procedure which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to think about. This typically results in parties making suggestions they would be reluctant 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
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they belong to court proceedings. The mediator will also handle the procedure and guarantee that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can supply an indispensable method of resolving family conflicts successfully and amicably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.