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 approaches of disagreement resolution as a way of resolving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
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 independently with them whether there are any problems which would mean that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration separately (this is typically called a Mediation Info Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are confidential therefore the material will not be talked about with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the private conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Contract to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the problems the parties want to cover however this will normally include conversation around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In case an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape the appropriate info and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
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 agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. As soon as this has actually occurred, among the party’s legal representatives will generally turn the Memorandum of Understanding into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The advantages of family mediation
There are a number of benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which may make mediation inappropriate or difficult. The benefits 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 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 may not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and handle its pace. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have sufficient time to look at monetary disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion may be much 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 designed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and private process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they want to think about. This typically leads to parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures if successful. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise guarantee and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can supply an important way of fixing family conflicts successfully and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.