Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blog sites, analyze the crucial benefits of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of dealing with the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider independently with them whether there are any concerns which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party individually (this is often called a Mediation Details Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are private therefore the content will not be discussed with the other celebration.
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pushing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties want to cover however this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant info 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 instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads 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 guidance on it. Once this has happened, 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 advantages to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any issues which might make mediation inappropriate or challenging. The benefits include:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can address matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its pace. You won’t need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and assess recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular tip might be better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private process which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to consider. This typically leads to parties making suggestions 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.
- Costs and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will also handle the procedure and guarantee that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective 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 resolving family disagreements successfully and agreeably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.