Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, take a look at the essential advantages of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of dealing with the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation typically 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 process and think about individually with them whether there are any concerns which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration separately (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a little bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are personal therefore the material will not be gone over with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate kind, handle any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will generally involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can record the relevant information and choices in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. As soon as this has happened, one of the party’s legal representatives will generally turn the Memorandum of Comprehending 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, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any problems which might make mediation unsuitable or tough. The advantages 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 verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and handle its speed. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to look at monetary disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular recommendation may be better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue between the parties and encourage recommendations about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly important for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal procedure which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This typically leads to parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if successful, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise make sure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an indispensable method of fixing family conflicts efficiently and amicably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.