Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blogs, take a look at the crucial benefits of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a way of solving the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider independently with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are private therefore the material will not be gone over with the other party.
following the specific meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Moderate type, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties want to cover but this will typically involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate information and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to document in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. As soon as this has taken place, one of the celebration’s lawyers will usually 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 advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any problems which might make mediation difficult or unsuitable. 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 program and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its rate. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have adequate time to look at monetary disclosure and assess tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific suggestion might be better.
a mediator’s role is to help with a dialogue between the parties and encourage ideas about the outcome. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is particularly important for parents 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 suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This generally leads to parties making suggestions they would hesitate 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
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they belong to court proceedings. The mediator will also manage the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an indispensable way of dealing with family conflicts efficiently and amicably and it ought to be something that is motivated all year.