Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blog sites, take a look at the key advantages of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of fixing the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation generally begins with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and think about separately 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 often called a Mediation Info Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are private and so the material will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint conference
following the private conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the issues the parties wish to cover however this will usually involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate details and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. When this has happened, one of the celebration’s attorneys will generally turn the Memorandum of Understanding into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The benefits of family mediation
There are a variety of benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any concerns which might make mediation difficult or inappropriate. 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 confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time between sessions and manage its rate. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collect monetary disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific recommendation may be 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.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal procedure which implies that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they wish to consider. This generally results in parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also manage the process and make sure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an indispensable method of fixing family disputes effectively and agreeably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.