Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blogs, examine the key benefits of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a method of fixing the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider separately with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration individually (this is frequently called a Mediation Information Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are private and so the material will not be gone over with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the specific meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate form, handle any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will usually involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the pertinent details and decisions in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has happened, one of the celebration’s attorneys 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 variety of advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which might make mediation unsuitable or challenging. The benefits 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 want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and manage its rate. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to look at financial disclosure and reflect on recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific recommendation may be better.
a mediator’s function is to help with a discussion in 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 especially crucial for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a personal and personal process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to consider. This generally results in parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. 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 cheaper and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the agenda and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. The mediator will also make sure and manage the process that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an invaluable method of fixing family conflicts effectively and agreeably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.