Family Mediation Made Simple
What is family mediation?
Family mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) where an independent and trained professional (mediator) takes the parties involved through the process of solving family problems facing them.
Such problems include custody of children, shared parenting, and sharing of assets and debts. It is non-confrontational and progressive in nature. In addition to that, it is characterized by voluntaries, transparency, and mutual respect.
What Are the Benefits of Family Mediation?
Family mediation gives the parties more control of the mediation process. This reduces tension and conflict because they feel that they own the process and are their input has a direct impact. Another benefit is that the children are not exposed to a vigorous court process that can negatively affect them both emotionally and psychologically.
Moreover, family mediation aims at improving the relationship of the party in a way that they can still mutually engage even if they decide to separate. It should be noted that even if the partners decide to separate, the welfare of the child can only be guaranteed if the parents maintain a good relationship that can help them communicate and discuss various issues in the process of making major decisions that touch on the children.
Long-drawn battles between the parents further alienate the children and do not do any good to the children.
What are the advantages of family mediation over the court process?
On one hand, the court process is an adversarial process. This means that each party aims at undermining the other and win the case or have an advantage. On the other hand, family mediation provides an atmosphere of mutual dialogue and agreement.
The court process can be intimidating with the presence of the judge and a legal team. Moreover, the language used in the court environment is a legal jargon which can be complex and intimidating if not frustrating.
It denies the client a chance to make an independent contribution that is not influenced by external factors. In some cases, the court process has led to deeply-rooted grudges among the partners. In a family mediation case, parties are at liberty to choose the parties they are comfortable with.
The sitting style and language are largely informal and not complex. The court process can be time-consuming and usually involves loads of paper work and technical requirements. The family mediation proceeding takes a shorter time and requires simpler documentation.
What is the role of the family law firm in general and the mediator in particular?
The scope and role of the family law firm mainly lie in giving the parties an enabling atmosphere and a controlled environment where such parties can explore the vast opportunities available in resolving a dispute.
In this regard, the mediator does not pass judgement or in any way influence an outcome. However, depending on the direction the process is taking, the mediator may help the client to identify loopholes in any agreement, consequences of any agreement, and alternative methods of solving certain issues should the parties reach a stalemate.
In other words, the mediator is not the dominant player of the decision-making process but rather a facilitator who offers a controlled environment where parties can reach an amicable solution and establish a solid relationship that will benefit both parties in the future.
For example, the mediator does not put pressure on the partners to save their marriage or civil partnership. However, should they be willing to take divorce as the last resort, the mediator will help them work on the differences more so the grave and sensitive ones.
Should the parties decide to separate, the mediator will not stop them from doing so or influence their decision. Rather, he or she will help them lay the basis of their future cooperation and ways of maintaining healthy communication.
Are confidentiality and privacy guaranteed during family mediation?
Principles of practice in family mediation lay an emphasis on confidentiality in handling personal information of others. This also helps the various parties to carry out mutual disclosure of sensitive information that may have a great bearing on the outcome of such a mediation. Moreover, exploration of opinion increases the possibility of settlement.
The mediator recognizes that a high level of trust is expected of him or her in order to realize optimal results. In case the mediator takes a decision to give information to a third party, there must be a prior written consent authorizing the same. Overall, confidentiality plays a crucial role in the mediation policy and is backed by a confidentiality statement as well as a mediation policy.
How does the mediation policy deal with financial information?
All the parties are under an obligation to honestly disclose their financial information. This is because such information is vital in the decision-making process. Similarly, financial information can be the basis of renegotiation should circumstances change in the future.
In addition to that, it can be availed to the court during the process of obtaining a formal consent court order. Moreover, should the family mediation fail, and the parties decide to go to the court, financial information that was disclosed and assessed during the mediation process can be used to expedite the court process.
Can my partner tell the court what we agreed in family mediation?
Agreements made during the mediation process are “without prejudice”. This means that disclosure of agreements during the mediation process can only be made to the court only with the approval of the partners. However, an exceptional case is where the child faces a serious risk and the intervention of the court is required in order to ensure the welfare of the child or children and consequently safeguard their interest.
How does family mediation work?
First, the Intake Meeting (MIAMS) is used to help you assess whether the mediation is suitable for you. At this stage, a partner can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with the mediation or drop it. Second, a joint meeting is held with both partners. This is also an opportunity where the mediator interacts with the client in order to diligently execute the case.
Third, further sessions are made depending on the schedule of each partner. Lastly, the conclusive stage is reached where a comprehensive agreement is made. In most cases, a deal is reached through a Memorandum of Understanding.
What is the cost of mediation?
The bottom line is that family mediation is cheaper than a court process. The initial mediation meeting will cost you less than a hundred pounds (inclusive of VAT). Furthermore, subsequent meetings carry a reasonable charge. Moreover, the family mediation process does not incur hidden costs. In fact, it is possible to approximate how much the mediation will cost you based on the sessions proposed and the magnitude of your case.
In summary, the following are the charges incurred by our agency in a family mediation proceeding: The Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) will cost you 99 pounds, FM1 for court purposes will cost you 49 pounds.
Mediation meetings will cost you 65 pounds per person per hour, preparation of open statement of financial information will cost you 60 pounds per person, the preparation of parenting plan will cost you 60 pounds per person, and the preparation of a memorandum of understanding will cost you 60 pounds per person.
How long does family mediation last?
This largely depends on the various dynamics shaping the family problem and the cooperation of the parties. The higher the cooperation of each party involved, the shorter the mediation process. Generally, each session lasts one and a half to two hours.
Why Choose Solent Family Mediation?
Solent Family Mediation provides outstanding service in the field of family law to both commercial and private clients. Its many years of experience in family cases gives it a competitive edge in the service of its clients.
One of its greatest assets is a culture of teamwork that enables it to diligently execute its proceedings with vigour until a solution is found. The firm follows a professional code of ethics in its interaction with clients thereby enabling it to guarantee the privacy and confidentiality of the clients.
Solent Family Mediation offers its clients numerous options and services. These include the liberty and space to make your own decisions concerning a partner, property, and child or children, reduction of conflict, highly qualified mediators, cost-effective services, fast services, and comprehensive assistance at any stage during the mediation process.
How Can You Contact Us?
Contact a mediator today on 02381 611 051, or through the website’s contact page. The law firm is opened 8.00 am to 9.00 pm, seven days a week.