Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blogs, analyze the crucial advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a way of fixing the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about independently with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is frequently called a Mediation Details Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are confidential therefore the material will not be talked about 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 Agreement to Mediate type, handle any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will typically include conversation around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent information and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice file 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 wish to record in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has happened, one of the celebration’s legal representatives will normally turn the Memorandum of Comprehending into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The benefits of family mediation
There are a number of advantages to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will think about any problems which may make mediation unsuitable or tough. The advantages 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 confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have enough time to collect financial disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is 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 idea might be 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 developed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and private process which implies that parties are motivated to be open about options they wish to consider. This normally leads to parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the program and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they are part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise ensure and handle the process that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an indispensable method of dealing with family conflicts efficiently and amicably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.