Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blog sites, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a way of dealing with the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about separately with them whether there are any concerns which would indicate that mediation is not proper.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is often called a Mediation Info Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little 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 private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Contract to Moderate form, deal with any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the issues the parties want to cover however this will usually include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant details and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. Once this has actually taken place, one of the party’s attorneys will usually 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 variety of benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will think about any issues which may make mediation difficult or inappropriate. 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can address matters crucial to your own family and those which might 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 manage its pace. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have enough time to look at financial disclosure and reflect on tips made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific suggestion may be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a dialogue in between the parties and encourage recommendations about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is especially important for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a private and private process which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This typically results in parties making suggestions they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise manage the process and ensure that mediation does not continue.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an important method of resolving family disagreements effectively and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.