Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, examine the key advantages of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a method of fixing the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
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 suggest that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration individually (this is typically called a Mediation Details Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are personal therefore the material will not be discussed with the other party.
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Contract to Mediate kind, deal with any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the problems the parties want to cover but this will usually include conversation around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent information and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total decisions 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 regard of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. Once this has actually happened, one of the party’s attorneys will typically 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 variety of benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will think about any issues which might make mediation unsuitable or tough. 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 encourage the parties to set the program and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time between sessions and manage its rate. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and equally you can guarantee you each have enough time to collect monetary disclosure and review tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular idea may 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 designed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and confidential process which means that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they wish to consider. This generally results in parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they become part of court proceedings. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise guarantee and manage the process that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply an indispensable method of solving family disputes effectively and agreeably and it ought to be something that is motivated all year.