Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we summarise the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blogs, examine the key benefits of mediation and other techniques of disagreement resolution as a way of fixing the useful arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a brief preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and think about individually with them whether there are any problems which would indicate that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each celebration separately (this is typically called a Mediation Details Evaluation Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and discuss a bit more about the mediation process. The initial conferences are private and so the content will not be talked about with the other celebration.
following the specific meetings, 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 Agreement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pressing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
More joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the concerns the parties wish to cover however this will usually include discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
On the occasion that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the pertinent info and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure provided. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Comprehending
this records the discussions in mediation and the general decisions reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be divulged in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
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 arrangement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding up until the parties have had independent legal advice on it. Once this has actually taken place, one of the party’s attorneys will generally turn the Memorandum of Comprehending into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The advantages of family mediation
There are a number of advantages to the mediation procedure, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is not right for everybody and a celebration and the mediator’s own solicitor will consider any problems which may make mediation unsuitable or challenging. The benefits consist of:
- The mediator will encourage the parties to set the program and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can deal with matters essential to your own family and those which might not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and place convenient to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and handle its pace. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and similarly you can ensure you each have sufficient time to look at monetary disclosure and reflect on suggestions made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This remains in contrast to court enforced choices where the judge might not have the power to impose comparable plans or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a particular suggestion might be much better.
a mediator’s role is to assist in a dialogue between the parties and encourage ideas about the result. When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stay with it. Mediation is developed to promote interaction and an ongoing co-parenting relationship. This is particularly essential for parents who are going to have a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives.
mediation is a personal and personal process which implies that parties are motivated to be open about choices they want to think about. This normally leads to parties making recommendations they would hesitate to make in court procedures. For high profile customers, 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 more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the agenda and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they are part of court proceedings. The mediator will also handle the procedure and ensure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has been in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in appropriate cases it can supply an indispensable method of solving family disagreements effectively and amicably and it must be something that is encouraged all year.