Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blog sites, take a look at the key benefits of mediation and other approaches of conflict resolution as a method of solving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider independently with them whether there are any concerns which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Info Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are private therefore the content will not be discussed with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the private conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate form, deal with any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend on the concerns the parties want to cover however this will normally include discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant information and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall 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 record in regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. As soon as this has taken place, among the party’s lawyers will typically turn the Memorandum of Understanding into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The benefits of family mediation
There are a variety of advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which might make mediation unsuitable or tough. 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 program and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and handle its pace. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and equally you can guarantee you each have enough time to collect monetary disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular idea might be better.
a mediator’s function is to facilitate a discussion between the parties and encourage tips about the outcome. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more 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 moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a private and personal process which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This generally leads to parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they become part of court proceedings. The mediator will also guarantee and manage the process that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can offer an invaluable way of resolving family disagreements successfully and amicably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.