Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blogs, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of fixing the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about 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 conference with each party individually (this is often called a Mediation Details Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a little more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are confidential and so the material will not be discussed with the other party.
following the private 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 Arrangement to Moderate type, handle any interim or pressing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties want to cover however this will typically involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate information and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to record in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. When this has occurred, among the celebration’s legal representatives will typically 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 benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any issues which might make mediation hard or unsuitable. The advantages include:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the program and confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters crucial to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its pace. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to look at financial disclosure and assess recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular idea might be much better.
When a decision 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 a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and confidential process which means that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they wish to consider. This normally results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court proceedings. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will likewise make sure and handle the process that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can supply an important method of solving family disputes effectively and agreeably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.