Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blogs, take a look at the essential benefits of mediation and other approaches of conflict resolution as a method of resolving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider individually with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party individually (this is typically called a Mediation Info Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are private therefore the material will not be discussed with the other party.
following the individual conferences, 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 Agreement to Mediate form, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties wish 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.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent info and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
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 overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to record in respect of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. As soon as this has happened, one of the party’s attorneys will typically 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 process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any issues which may make mediation inappropriate or difficult. 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 motivate the parties to set the program and confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can address matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and manage its pace. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to collect financial disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar plans or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular recommendation might be better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and confidential process which implies that parties are motivated to be open about choices they wish to consider. This normally results in parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings if successful. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise guarantee and manage the process that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can supply a vital method of solving family conflicts effectively and agreeably and it should be something that is motivated all year.