Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blog sites, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of resolving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about separately with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are private therefore the content will not be gone over with the other celebration.
following the private conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Mediate kind, handle any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties want to cover but this will typically include conversation around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate info and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- 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 proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. When this has actually taken place, one of the party’s legal representatives will normally 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 number of benefits to the mediation process, a few 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 might make mediation difficult 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 wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have adequate time to look at monetary disclosure and assess suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific idea may be much better.
When a choice 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 an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and confidential process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This normally leads to parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and selecting 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 manage the process 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 appropriate cases it can provide an important way of fixing family conflicts successfully and agreeably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.