Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blog sites, examine the essential benefits of mediation and other approaches of conflict resolution as a way of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation generally begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and consider individually with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration independently (this is often called a Mediation Details Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are personal therefore the content will not be discussed with the other party.
following the specific meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend on the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent information and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has actually taken place, one of the party’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 variety of benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any problems which might make mediation inappropriate 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 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 procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You choose 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 procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific recommendation may be better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue between the parties and motivate recommendations about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is designed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is especially important for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a private and private procedure which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to think about. This typically leads to parties making suggestions they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the program and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they become part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also manage the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can supply a vital way of dealing with family disputes efficiently and amicably and it should be something that is motivated all year.