Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blog sites, take a look at the key advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a way of dealing with the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are confidential and so the material will not be gone over with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the specific meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Moderate form, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties want to cover however this will normally include 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 a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant information and decisions in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to document in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have actually had independent legal recommendations on it. As soon as this has taken place, one of the celebration’s legal representatives will usually 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, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will think about any problems which may make mediation tough or unsuitable. The advantages include:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the program and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time between sessions and manage its pace. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collate monetary disclosure and review tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific recommendation might 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 developed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and personal process which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This usually leads to parties making tips they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will also handle the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can offer an indispensable method of resolving family disputes successfully and amicably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.