Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blogs, take a look at the crucial benefits of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a way of fixing the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about independently with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party independently (this is often called a Mediation Information Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are personal and so the material will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the specific meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Mediate type, handle 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 issues the parties want to cover however this will typically involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant info and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details 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 overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to document in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. Once this has occurred, one of the party’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 advantages of family mediation
There are a variety 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 problems which might make mediation hard or unsuitable. 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 validate 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 process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and handle its rate. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and equally you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collate monetary disclosure and assess ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific idea may be better.
a mediator’s role is to facilitate a dialogue in between the parties and motivate recommendations about the outcome. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is particularly crucial for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and private process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about options they want to consider. This generally results in parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is likewise a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also ensure and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an invaluable way of fixing family disagreements effectively and agreeably and it must be something that is motivated all year.