Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, examine the essential benefits of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a method of resolving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation generally starts 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 process and think about separately with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration separately (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are private therefore the material will not be gone over with the other party.
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Contract to Moderate form, deal with any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover but this will usually involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate details and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to document in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. As soon as this has happened, one of the party’s legal representatives will typically 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 variety of benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which may make mediation challenging or inappropriate. 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 encourage the parties to set the program and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can address matters important 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 location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and handle its rate. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific suggestion might be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a discussion between the parties and encourage suggestions about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is especially crucial for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal procedure which means that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they want to think about. This generally results in parties making tips they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is likewise a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will likewise make sure and manage the process 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 offer a vital way of solving family conflicts effectively and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.