Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blog sites, analyze the essential benefits of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a way of resolving the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation generally starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and consider individually with them whether there are any problems which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and explain a bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary conferences are confidential and so the material will not be gone over with the other party.
following the individual meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Moderate type, handle any interim or pressing problems and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the issues the parties want to cover however this will normally include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can record the relevant info and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has actually occurred, among the party’s legal representatives will generally 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 number of advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and the mediator and a celebration’s own lawyer will think about any problems which may make mediation inappropriate or hard. 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 agenda and confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and handle its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collect monetary disclosure and assess suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific idea might be 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 designed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal process which means that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This normally leads to parties making tips they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the program and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they are part of court procedures. If it is ineffective or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise manage the process and guarantee that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply a vital way of resolving family disagreements successfully and amicably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.