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 benefits of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of fixing the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and think about individually with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration individually (this is frequently called a Mediation Details Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a little more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary conferences are personal therefore the content will not be discussed with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the private conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the issues the parties want to cover however this will generally involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the appropriate info and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal advice on it. Once this has actually taken place, among the celebration’s legal representatives will normally 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 procedure, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will consider any issues which might make mediation unsuitable or difficult. The benefits 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 confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can address matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and manage its rate. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific recommendation might 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 a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and personal procedure which means that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to think about. This normally results in parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures if successful. By setting the program and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also handle the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer a vital method of solving family disagreements successfully and agreeably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.