Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a method of solving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation typically begins 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 think about independently with them whether there are any problems which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration individually (this is often called a Mediation Info Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation procedure. The preliminary meetings are personal therefore the content will not be talked about with the other party.
following the private meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Moderate form, handle any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the problems the parties wish to cover but this will generally involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape the appropriate information and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the general 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 daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. Once this has actually taken place, one of the celebration’s attorneys 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 advantages to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which might make mediation challenging or inappropriate. The benefits 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 confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and handle its rate. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to collect monetary disclosure and review ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be better.
When a decision 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 communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a personal and private procedure which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This typically results in parties making suggestions they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, 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 more affordable and quicker than court procedures. By setting the agenda and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they are part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also guarantee and handle the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can provide an indispensable way of solving family conflicts successfully and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.