Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blogs, take a look at the crucial benefits of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a way of dealing with the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and consider separately with them whether there are any problems which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Info Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are confidential and so the material will not be gone over with the other party.
following the specific meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Mediate kind, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties want to cover however this will usually involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent info and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to record in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have actually had independent legal recommendations on it. As soon as this has actually happened, among the celebration’s lawyers 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 advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will think about any issues which might make mediation challenging or unsuitable. The advantages include:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its speed. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collate monetary disclosure and assess recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular idea may be better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue in between the parties and encourage recommendations about the outcome. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is designed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is especially crucial for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal procedure which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they want to think about. This usually leads to 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 general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they are part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also guarantee and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can provide an indispensable method of solving family disputes efficiently and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.