Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blogs, analyze the crucial benefits of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a method of solving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any problems which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration independently (this is often called a Mediation Information Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary conferences are confidential therefore the content will not be talked about with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the private meetings, 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 Arrangement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the problems the parties wish to cover however this will usually involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent info and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. As soon as this has actually happened, among the party’s attorneys will usually 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 variety of benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will think about any concerns which might make mediation inappropriate or tough. The advantages include:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and handle its speed. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have adequate time to look at financial disclosure and assess recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific recommendation might be better.
a mediator’s function is to help with a dialogue in between the parties and motivate suggestions about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is created to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is particularly essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a private and personal procedure which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they want to consider. This usually results in parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they are part of court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise guarantee and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an invaluable method of resolving family disagreements successfully and amicably and it ought to be something that is motivated all year.