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, examine the key advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a way of fixing the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about separately with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is often called a Mediation Information Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are confidential therefore the content will not be talked about with the other celebration.
following the specific meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Contract to Mediate kind, handle any interim or pressing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will normally involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate details and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to record in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. When this has happened, among the celebration’s legal representatives will typically 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 variety of advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any problems which might make mediation inappropriate or challenging. 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 program and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and handle its pace. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and similarly you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collect financial disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular suggestion may be 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 designed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and private procedure which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about options they want to consider. This usually leads to parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the program and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they are part of court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also manage the process and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an important method of dealing with family conflicts efficiently and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.