Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historical blog sites, examine the essential advantages of mediation and other approaches of disagreement resolution as a way of resolving the practical arrangements 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 think about independently with them whether there are any concerns which would indicate that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party individually (this is often called a Mediation Info Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to talk about the background briefly and explain a little more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are personal therefore the material will not be discussed with the other party.
First joint meeting
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 used to go through the Arrangement to Mediate type, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the program for future sessions.
More joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the problems the parties want to cover but this will generally include discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate information and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ monetary information as set out in the monetary disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be revealed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters moms and dads wish to record in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. Once this has taken place, among the celebration’s lawyers will typically 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 benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will think about any concerns which may make mediation challenging or unsuitable. The benefits consist of:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the agenda and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can attend to matters crucial to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its speed. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court process, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to collate financial disclosure and assess tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to match your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular idea might be much 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 interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private procedure which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about alternatives they wish to consider. This generally leads to parties making recommendations they would be reluctant to make in court proceedings. For high profile clients, it is also a way of keeping details of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the process than when they are part of court proceedings. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also guarantee and manage the process that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply an important way of fixing family disputes effectively and agreeably and it need to be something that is encouraged all year.