Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog site we sum up the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historical blogs, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a way of resolving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation procedure and consider individually with them whether there are any concerns which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party individually (this is often called a Mediation Information Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are personal and so the content will not be talked about with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the private conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is used to go through the Arrangement to Moderate form, handle any interim or pushing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the problems the parties want to cover however this will normally include discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate details and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents want to document in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. Once this has actually happened, one of the party’s lawyers 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 advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will think about any problems which might make mediation hard or inappropriate. 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 program and validate what they wish to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and handle its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and equally you can ensure you each have sufficient time to collect monetary disclosure and reflect on recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose similar plans or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular idea might be much better.
a mediator’s function is to facilitate a dialogue in between the parties and motivate ideas about the result. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and adhere to it. Mediation is developed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly important for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a private and personal process which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to think about. This normally results in parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the agenda and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they become part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise make sure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an important method of solving family disagreements successfully and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.