Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, take a look at the crucial advantages of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a method of resolving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and think about independently with them whether there are any concerns which would indicate that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration independently (this is often called a Mediation Details Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are confidential therefore the content will not be talked about with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the specific meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, handle any interim or pushing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the issues the parties wish to cover but this will typically involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate information and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open instead of 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 revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to record in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has taken place, among the celebration’s attorneys will typically turn the Memorandum of Comprehending into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The advantages of family mediation
There are a number of benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which may make mediation difficult or unsuitable. The advantages consist of:
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 program and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its rate. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have adequate time to collate financial disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific suggestion may be better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and private process which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about options they want to consider. This generally results in parties making tips they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will also manage the process and ensure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can supply an invaluable method of solving family conflicts successfully and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.