Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blog sites, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a way of resolving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration individually (this is often called a Mediation Details Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are private therefore the content will not be talked about with the other celebration.
following the private meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Moderate form, handle any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties want to cover but this will generally include discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can record the relevant info and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal advice on it. When this has actually happened, among the celebration’s lawyers will normally 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 number of benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will think about any issues which may make mediation inappropriate or hard. 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can address matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its pace. You will not need 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 collect financial disclosure and review suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices 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 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 communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and private procedure which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This usually results in parties making suggestions they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the agenda and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will also guarantee and manage the process that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an indispensable method of dealing with family disagreements effectively and agreeably and it must be something that is motivated all year.