Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, examine the key benefits of mediation and other methods of conflict resolution as a way of resolving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider independently with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party independently (this is typically called a Mediation Info Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are confidential therefore the content will not be gone over with the other party.
First joint conference
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference 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.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the problems the parties want to cover however this will generally include discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the relevant information and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
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 proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. When this has occurred, among the party’s attorneys will generally 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 benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will think about any problems which may make mediation hard or unsuitable. The advantages consist of:
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 agenda and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its pace. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to look at monetary disclosure and assess tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion may be much 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 created to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and personal process which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about choices they wish to think about. This generally leads to parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the program and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they become part of court procedures. The mediator will likewise ensure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can supply a vital method of dealing with family conflicts effectively and agreeably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.