Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historic blogs, take a look at the crucial advantages of mediation and other approaches of conflict resolution as a way of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation process
Very first call
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to speak to the parties about the mediation process and consider separately with them whether there are any issues which would imply that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration separately (this is often called a Mediation Info Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are personal and so the content will not be gone over with the other party.
following the specific conferences, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Mediate form, handle any interim or pushing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the problems the parties want to cover however this will normally include conversation around the plans for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible financial settlement.
In case an arrangement is reached, the mediator can tape the relevant info and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the monetary disclosure offered. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the overall decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads want to document in regard of the everyday care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not legally binding till the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. When this has taken place, one of the celebration’s lawyers will usually 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, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any issues which might make mediation difficult 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 program and verify what they wish to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and handle its rate. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and equally you can guarantee you each have adequate time to look at monetary disclosure and reflect on ideas made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed choices where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific tip may be better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue between the parties and encourage recommendations about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly important for moms and dads who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a confidential and private procedure which implies that parties are motivated to be open about choices they wish to consider. This typically leads to parties making tips they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and choosing the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the process than when they become part of court proceedings. The mediator will also make sure and handle the procedure 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 proper cases it can supply a vital way of dealing with family disputes effectively and agreeably and it must be something that is motivated all year.