Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, take a look at the key advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of fixing the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and consider separately with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration independently (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are private and so the material will not be discussed with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Moderate kind, handle any interim or pushing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the problems the parties want to cover however this will typically include discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate details and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has occurred, among the celebration’s lawyers will normally turn the Memorandum of Comprehending into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The advantages of family mediation
There are a variety of advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any problems which might make mediation tough or unsuitable. The benefits consist of:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and handle its speed. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to look at financial disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular tip might be better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal process which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to consider. This normally leads to parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they are part of court procedures. The mediator will also ensure and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an indispensable method of fixing family disputes efficiently and amicably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.