Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blog sites, take a look at the essential advantages of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a method of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider individually with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration independently (this is frequently called a Mediation Info Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a little bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are confidential and so the material will not be talked about with the other celebration.
following the private conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the problems the parties want to cover but this will typically include conversation around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape the appropriate info and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. When this has taken place, among the party’s legal representatives will normally 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 advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and the mediator and a party’s own solicitor will consider any issues which may make mediation inappropriate or hard. The benefits consist of:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the program and confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its rate. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have adequate time to look at monetary disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a particular idea may be much better.
When a choice 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 interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal process which means that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This generally results in parties making tips 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 general public eye.
- Costs and speed
if successful, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will also manage the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an important method of solving family disagreements efficiently and amicably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.