Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blogs, analyze the essential benefits of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of dealing with the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and consider independently with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration separately (this is frequently called a Mediation Details Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are personal and so the content will not be talked about with the other celebration.
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing problems 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 discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent details and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open rather than 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 Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. Once this has occurred, one of the party’s lawyers will normally 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 number of advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will think about any concerns which may make mediation inappropriate 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 motivate the parties to set the agenda and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You pick 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 equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collect monetary disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific tip might be much better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a personal and private procedure which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to think about. This usually leads to parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures. 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. The mediator will also guarantee and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can supply an invaluable method of resolving family disputes effectively and amicably and it should be something that is motivated all year.