Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historic blogs, examine the crucial benefits of mediation and other approaches of dispute resolution as a method of fixing the useful plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
Very first call
mediation normally begins with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation process and consider individually with them whether there are any issues which would indicate that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is often called a Mediation Details Assessment Meeting (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and explain a little more about the mediation process. The preliminary conferences are private therefore the content will not be discussed with the other celebration.
First joint conference
following the individual meetings, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is utilized to go through the Contract to Moderate type, handle any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Further joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend on the problems the parties wish to cover however this will typically involve conversation around the arrangements for the children followed by a review of the parties’ financial disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate info and choices in a variety of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ monetary details as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations 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 want to record in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any arrangement reached in mediation is not legally binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal advice on it. As soon as this has occurred, one of the party’s legal representatives 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 variety of advantages to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any problems which may make mediation inappropriate or challenging. The benefits include:
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the program and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can address matters important to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You select the length of time between sessions and manage its pace. You will not need to wait months for the next date as can take place in a court procedure, and similarly you can guarantee you each have enough time to collect financial disclosure and review recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to match your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce similar plans or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular tip might 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 designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a private and private process which implies that parties are encouraged to be open about options they wish to think about. This usually leads to parties making recommendations 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.
- Costs and speed
Mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court procedures if effective. By setting the agenda and choosing the number of sessions you have, parties have a lot more control over the procedure than when they belong to court procedures. The mediator will also make sure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is unproductive or making matters worse.
Family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide a vital way of resolving family disputes effectively and amicably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.