Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blog sites, examine the key benefits of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a method of solving the practical plans 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 to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider individually with them whether there are any problems which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Info Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are confidential and so the content will not be discussed with the other celebration.
following the private meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is utilized to go through the Contract to Mediate type, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover but this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent info and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have actually had independent legal recommendations on it. Once this has actually occurred, 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 advantages of family mediation
There are a number of benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will consider any problems which might make mediation hard or unsuitable. 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 program and verify what they wish 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 process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and handle its rate. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular recommendation may be much better.
a mediator’s function is to assist in a dialogue in between the parties and encourage ideas about the result. 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 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 confidential and private process which implies that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This usually leads to parties making suggestions they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping information 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 agenda and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they are part of court proceedings. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also handle the procedure and make sure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an important way of fixing family conflicts efficiently and agreeably and it should be something that is motivated all year.