Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, analyze the essential benefits of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a method of solving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and consider independently with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are confidential and so the material will not be talked about with the other party.
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will usually involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent info and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
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 plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. When this has actually happened, among the celebration’s legal representatives will usually 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 process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any problems which may make mediation challenging or inappropriate. The benefits consist of:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the program and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and handle its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and assess ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be better.
a mediator’s function is to facilitate a dialogue between the parties and motivate suggestions about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is designed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is especially essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a private and confidential process which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This generally results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs 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 procedure than when they are part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also handle the process and guarantee that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an invaluable way of solving family conflicts effectively and agreeably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.