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, analyze the key advantages of mediation and other approaches of conflict resolution as a way of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and consider separately with them whether there are any problems which would indicate that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration independently (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary conferences are private and so the material will not be discussed with the other party.
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Contract to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the problems the parties wish to cover but this will usually involve discussion around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant details and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary info as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the total choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. When this has occurred, one of the party’s attorneys 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 number of benefits to the mediation process, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any issues which may make mediation hard or inappropriate. The advantages include:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the agenda and verify what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its rate. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collect financial disclosure and assess suggestions made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific idea may be better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and private procedure which suggests that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they wish to consider. This usually leads to parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the agenda and selecting the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the process than when they are part of court procedures. The mediator will likewise manage the process and make sure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an important way of solving family disputes successfully and amicably and it must be something that is motivated all year.