Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blog sites, analyze the crucial advantages of mediation and other approaches of conflict resolution as a way of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation generally begins with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and think about separately with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is often called a Mediation Information Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary conferences are personal and so the content will not be discussed with the other party.
following the individual meetings, 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 Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will generally include conversation 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 tape the pertinent information and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. Once this has actually occurred, one of the celebration’s lawyers will typically 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 advantages to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any concerns which might make mediation inappropriate or tough. The benefits consist of:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the program and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and manage its speed. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have sufficient time to look at financial disclosure and assess suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable plans or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific idea might be much better.
a mediator’s role is to help with a dialogue in between the parties and motivate tips about the outcome. 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. This is particularly essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and private procedure which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to consider. This generally results in parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses 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 far more control over the procedure than when they become part of court proceedings. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will also handle the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an indispensable method of resolving family disputes successfully and amicably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.