Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blog sites, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of fixing the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider separately with them whether there are any concerns which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration separately (this is often called a Mediation Details Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are private therefore the material will not be gone over with the other celebration.
following the individual conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover but this will generally involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant info and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
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 contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. As soon as this has taken place, one of the celebration’s legal representatives 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 procedure, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which might make mediation unsuitable or difficult. The advantages 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 validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters crucial 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 place practical to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time between sessions and handle its speed. You won’t need 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 look at monetary disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific recommendation may be better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a confidential and personal procedure which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to consider. This normally results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they belong to court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also handle the process and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can offer an important method of dealing with family disagreements effectively and amicably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.