Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blog sites, analyze the key advantages of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a method of solving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically starts with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider separately with them whether there are any concerns which would suggest that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party independently (this is typically called a Mediation Information Evaluation Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a little more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are private and so the material will not be discussed with the other party.
following the specific conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate form, 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 problems the parties want to cover however this will usually include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent details and decisions in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial details as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice file 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 wish to record in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. Once this has actually taken place, one of the party’s attorneys 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 number of advantages to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will think about any issues which might make mediation difficult 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 encourage the parties to set the agenda and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time in between sessions and manage its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and equally you can guarantee you each have enough time to look at financial disclosure and review ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular recommendation may be much 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 created to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and personal process which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they want to consider. This typically leads to parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they belong to court proceedings. The mediator will likewise guarantee and handle the procedure 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 supply an important way of fixing family disputes efficiently and agreeably and it should be something that is motivated all year.