Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation process and, as thought about in our historic blogs, examine the crucial advantages of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a method of resolving the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation usually begins with the mediator having a short initial call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider individually with them whether there are any concerns which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the preliminary calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration independently (this is often called a Mediation Info Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to discuss the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial conferences are confidential and so the content will not be gone over with the other celebration.
following the private conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will set up a joint session with the mediator. The very first conference is utilized to go through the Arrangement to Moderate type, handle any interim or pressing problems and to set the program for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future conferences will depend on the problems the parties wish to cover but this will usually involve conversation around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In the event that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the appropriate info and choices in a variety of files called:
- Open Financial Declaration
this records the parties’ financial info as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open rather than without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the conversations in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in regard of the daily care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have actually had independent legal guidance on it. When this has taken place, among the party’s attorneys will generally turn the Memorandum of Understanding into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The benefits of family mediation
There are a number of advantages to the mediation process, a few of which are set out below. Mediation is wrong for everyone and a party and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any concerns which might make mediation inappropriate or hard. The advantages include:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the program and confirm what they wish to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court process.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You select the length of time in between sessions and handle 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 monetary disclosure and reflect on tips made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be tailored to fit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge might not have the power to impose similar arrangements or has not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular idea might be much better.
a mediator’s function is to facilitate a dialogue in between the parties and encourage ideas 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 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.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and private process which indicates that parties are encouraged to be open about choices they want to consider. This normally leads to parties making ideas they would hesitate to make in court procedures. 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 effective, mediation can be less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and selecting the variety of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they are part of court procedures. If it is unproductive or making matters worse, the mediator will also ensure and manage the process that mediation does not continue.
Although family mediation has been in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can supply an invaluable method of fixing family disputes successfully and amicably and it need to be something that is motivated all year.