Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blogs, analyze the essential advantages of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and consider individually with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration separately (this is often called a Mediation Info Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are personal therefore the material will not be discussed with the other celebration.
following the individual meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the problems the parties want to cover but this will typically include discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant info and decisions in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. Once this has happened, 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 listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which might make mediation difficult or unsuitable. 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 motivate 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 might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and handle its pace. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collect monetary disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular idea might be much 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 created to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and confidential procedure which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about options they want to consider. This generally results in parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will also manage the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an indispensable method of resolving family conflicts efficiently and agreeably and it must be something that is motivated all year.