Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blogs, analyze the key advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a way of solving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and think about individually with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Information Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are private and so the material will not be discussed with the other celebration.
following the individual meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate form, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend on the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will usually involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant info and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
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 overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to record in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. Once this has taken place, one of the celebration’s lawyers 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 number of benefits to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any issues which might make mediation unsuitable or difficult. The advantages include:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the agenda and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and manage its rate. 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 look at monetary disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific idea might be better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and private process which means that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to consider. This generally results in parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is likewise a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the program and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also handle the process and make sure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply an important way of fixing family disagreements successfully and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.