Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blog sites, take a look at the essential benefits of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a way of dealing with the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose 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 suggest that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a little more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are personal and so the content will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint conference
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the issues the parties want to cover but this will usually involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape 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 financial disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
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 moms and dads wish to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. As soon as this has happened, among the party’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 variety of benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any problems which may make mediation unsuitable or challenging. 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and manage its pace. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have adequate time to collate financial disclosure and assess tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable plans or has 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 interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and private procedure which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to think about. This usually results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the 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 a lot more control over the procedure than when they belong to court proceedings. The mediator will also handle the process and ensure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can supply an indispensable way of resolving family disagreements efficiently and amicably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.