Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blog sites, take a look at the key advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a method of dealing with the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and think about independently with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are confidential and so the material will not be talked about with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate form, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend on the issues the parties wish 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 expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent information and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to record in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have actually had independent legal recommendations on it. Once this has taken place, among the celebration’s attorneys 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 advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any problems which may make mediation hard or inappropriate. 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 agenda and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter 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 manage 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 collect financial disclosure and review tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific recommendation 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 developed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private procedure which means that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This generally leads to parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a way 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 agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they are part of court procedures. The mediator will also manage the process and make sure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply a vital method of solving family disagreements effectively and agreeably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.