Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other approaches of conflict resolution as a method of fixing the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and think about individually with them whether there are any issues which would suggest that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party independently (this is typically called a Mediation Information Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are personal therefore the content will not be talked about with the other party.
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 first conference is utilized to go through the Contract to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties want to cover but this will typically involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate details and decisions 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 file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. As soon as this has occurred, one of the party’s lawyers will generally 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 number of advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will think about any concerns which might make mediation unsuitable or hard. 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 agenda and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its pace. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have enough time to collate monetary disclosure and reflect on recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular idea might be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a dialogue between the parties and encourage ideas about the outcome. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is created to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly crucial for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a personal and private procedure which means that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to think about. This typically leads to parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures if successful. By setting the agenda and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they become part of court procedures. The mediator will likewise manage the procedure and guarantee 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 proper cases it can provide a vital method of fixing family disputes efficiently and agreeably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.