Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blogs, examine the key advantages of mediation and other methods of dispute resolution as a method of fixing the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation generally begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and think about independently with them whether there are any concerns which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party individually (this is frequently called a Mediation Information Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation process. The preliminary meetings are private therefore the material will not be talked about with the other celebration.
following the individual conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Moderate type, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the issues the parties wish to cover but this will usually 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 an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant info and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to document in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have had independent legal guidance on it. When this has occurred, one of the celebration’s lawyers 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 procedure, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own solicitor will think about any concerns which might make mediation inappropriate or difficult. The advantages consist of:
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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and location convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and handle its pace. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to collate financial disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge may not have the power to impose similar plans or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific recommendation may be much 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 a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This usually leads to parties making tips they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is likewise 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 program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they belong to court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise handle the process and make sure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can offer an invaluable way of dealing with family conflicts successfully and agreeably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.