Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blogs, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a method of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider independently with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Info Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are private and so the material will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the individual conferences, 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 Mediate kind, handle any interim or pressing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties wish 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 a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant information and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal advice on it. Once this has occurred, one of the party’s lawyers 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 number of advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which might make mediation unsuitable or difficult. The benefits include:
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 motivate the parties to set the agenda and confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and handle its rate. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and assess suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce similar plans or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular idea might 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 created to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and private process which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to think about. This generally results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise ensure and manage the process that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an invaluable way of dealing with family disagreements effectively and agreeably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.