Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blog sites, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a method of solving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and consider independently with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration separately (this is often called a Mediation Details Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are personal therefore the content will not be talked about with the other celebration.
following the individual meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate type, deal with any interim or pushing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the problems the parties wish to cover however this will typically involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant details and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open rather than 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 procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record 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 advice on it. As soon as this has actually 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 benefits of family mediation
There are a variety of advantages to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any issues which may make mediation unsuitable or hard. 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 program and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and equally you can guarantee you each have adequate time to look at financial disclosure and review ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific idea may be much 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 an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and confidential procedure which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about choices they wish to think about. This generally leads to parties making suggestions they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they are part of court procedures. The mediator will also handle the procedure and guarantee that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an indispensable way of resolving family conflicts efficiently and amicably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.