Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blog sites, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a method of solving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk with the parties about the mediation process and consider 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 celebration independently (this is often called a Mediation Info Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a little more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are confidential and so the content will not be gone over with the other party.
First joint conference
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate type, deal with any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend on the problems the parties wish to cover but this will usually include conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In the event that an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the relevant details and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the plans for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding until the parties have had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has occurred, one of the celebration’s attorneys will generally 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 variety of benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is not right for everybody and the mediator and a party’s own lawyer will think about any concerns which might make mediation difficult or unsuitable. The benefits 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 verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its pace. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have adequate time to collate financial disclosure and assess suggestions made.
- Decisions 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 actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular suggestion may 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 an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and private process which means that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they want to consider. This typically results in parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings if effective. By setting the program and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they become part of court procedures. The mediator will also ensure and handle the process that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can supply an indispensable method of resolving family disputes efficiently and amicably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.