Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as considered in our historic blogs, take a look at the key benefits of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of fixing the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation procedure and think about independently with them whether there are any issues which would mean that mediation is not suitable.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Details Evaluation Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are personal therefore the material will not be gone over with the other celebration.
following the individual conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The first meeting is used to go through the Contract to Moderate type, handle any interim or pressing concerns and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend upon the concerns the parties want to cover but this will usually involve discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
In case a contract is reached, the mediator can record the appropriate info and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the financial 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 document and can not be disclosed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Strategy
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. As soon as this has actually occurred, one of the celebration’s legal representatives will typically 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 procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which might make mediation tough or unsuitable. 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 motivate the parties to set the program and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can address matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place practical to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its rate. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can occur in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have enough time to collect financial disclosure and reflect on recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to fit your family. This remains in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has disliked the subtlety of why a specific tip may be better.
a mediator’s function is to help with a discussion in between the parties and motivate tips about the outcome. When a choice is made together in mediation, it is most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is created to promote interaction and a continuous co-parenting relationship. This is especially essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a personal and private procedure which means that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they want to think about. This usually leads to parties making tips they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, it is also a way of keeping information of your relationship out of the general public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if successful, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they become part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will likewise guarantee and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has actually been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can provide an invaluable method of fixing family disputes effectively and amicably and it should be something that is motivated all year.