Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blog sites, analyze the crucial benefits of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a way of dealing with the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any problems which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party individually (this is frequently called a Mediation Details Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are private therefore the content will not be discussed with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Mediate kind, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the problems the parties want to cover however this will usually include conversation around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate information and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. When this has actually occurred, one of the party’s legal representatives will normally 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 variety of advantages to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will consider any problems which may make mediation challenging 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 want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collect monetary disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular tip might be better.
a mediator’s function is to help with a discussion in between the parties and encourage recommendations about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is developed to promote communication and an ongoing 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 confidential and personal process which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This generally leads to parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will likewise make sure and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an important way of dealing with family disputes successfully and agreeably and it must be something that is motivated all year.