Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, analyze the crucial advantages of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a method of dealing with the useful plans 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 process and think about independently with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration separately (this is frequently called a Mediation Details Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are confidential and so the material will not be gone over 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 meeting is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Moderate type, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties want to cover but this will usually involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate details and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. As soon as this has actually happened, among the celebration’s legal representatives will generally 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 variety of advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will consider any concerns which might make mediation inappropriate or challenging. The advantages 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 resolve matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time between sessions and handle its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collate financial disclosure and review tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific 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 created to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and confidential procedure which means that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to think about. This generally results in parties making recommendations 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 procedures if successful. By setting the agenda and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. The mediator will likewise guarantee and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an important way of solving family conflicts successfully and agreeably and it ought to be something that is motivated all year.