Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blog sites, take a look at the key benefits of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a method of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any concerns which would indicate that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Info Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are confidential and so the content will not be gone over with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the private meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Mediate type, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the issues the parties wish to cover however this will usually involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate information and decisions in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. Once this has occurred, one of the celebration’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 benefits of family mediation
There are a variety of benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any problems which may make mediation unsuitable or difficult. The advantages 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 encourage the parties to set the program and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can address matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and handle its rate. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collate financial disclosure and review ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular idea may be much better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a personal and private process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they wish to consider. This usually results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they become part of court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise handle the process and guarantee that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an important method of dealing with family conflicts effectively and amicably and it should be something that is motivated all year.