Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blog sites, examine the crucial advantages of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of resolving 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 purpose of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and think about individually with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration separately (this is frequently called a Mediation Details Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a little more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are private and so the content will not be discussed with the other party.
following the private conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Contract to Moderate type, handle any interim or pushing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend on the problems the parties want to cover but this will usually include conversation around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant info and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open instead of 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 disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. As soon as this has actually taken place, one of 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 benefits of family mediation
There are a number of benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will think about any concerns which might make mediation inappropriate or challenging. 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 crucial 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 pick the length of time in between sessions and manage its pace. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have enough time to collate financial disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific suggestion may be much better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more most 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 personal and private process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to consider. This normally results in parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise handle the process and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an invaluable method of fixing family disputes effectively and agreeably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.