Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blog sites, analyze the essential benefits of mediation and other techniques of dispute resolution as a way of fixing the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally 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 procedure and think about individually with them whether there are any issues which would suggest that mediation is not suitable.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each celebration separately (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are private and so the content will not be talked about with the other party.
First joint meeting
following the individual meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will organize a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, handle any interim or pushing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the issues the parties want to cover but this will usually 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 case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent info and decisions in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the monetary disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the overall choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to record in respect of the everyday care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. As soon as this has happened, one of the party’s attorneys will normally 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 variety of advantages to the mediation process, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own lawyer will consider any issues which may make mediation inappropriate or difficult. 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 confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential 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 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 happen in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collate monetary disclosure and review ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a specific idea 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 an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private process which suggests that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they want to think about. This typically leads to parties making tips they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures if successful. By setting the agenda and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they belong to court proceedings. The mediator will also make sure and handle the process that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can offer an indispensable method of resolving family disagreements efficiently and amicably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.