Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blogs, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of fixing the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are confidential therefore the material will not be talked about with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Agreement to Mediate type, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties wish to cover however this will normally involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate information and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to document in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has actually taken place, among 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 benefits of family mediation
There are a number of benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will consider any concerns which may make mediation tough or inappropriate. The benefits 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 agenda and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can address matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter 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 in between sessions and handle its rate. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and assess tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a discussion between the parties and motivate ideas about the outcome. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is designed 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.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private procedure which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about choices they wish to consider. This generally results in parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is likewise a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they become part of court procedures. The mediator will likewise ensure and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an indispensable way of resolving family disagreements successfully and amicably and it should be something that is motivated all year.