What is the definition of family mediation? -Mediation Worthing

Mediation Worthing is a procedure in which an impartial, skilled mediator works with a couple to assist them in reaching an agreement on the practical issues they need to address, based on an agenda established by the couple.

What are the primary characteristics of family mediation?

The primary characteristics of family mediation are:

  • The parties are free to withdraw from Mediation Worthing at any time; they are not required to continue if they choose not to.
  • The decision-making authority is with the couple, not with the mediator. The mediator is responsible for managing the session, obtaining information, identifying choices, and assessing each option from each party’s perspective in order to assist the couple in identifying the most suitable solution for them.
  • Similar to a textbook, the mediator can supply material that is unbiased in nature. The mediator does not give legal advice to either party, but can alert both parties to the necessity for independent counsel if the ideas being considered in Mediation Worthing go outside the mediator’s expected range of court-approved outcomes.
  • Family Mediation Worthing is confidential; the parties are allowed to discuss their perspectives openly, secure in the knowledge that the mediator will not divulge their talks to the court if the mediation fails, as stipulated in the agreement to mediate (which both parties and the mediator sign). A portion of the agreement to mediate, which will be signed prior to the start of the process, clearly acknowledges a commitment not to call the mediator to provide testimony or to disclose their notes, similar to a therapist’s confidentiality. This is subject to the stipulation that if there is any indication that a child or adult is in danger, the mediator, along with other experts working in this field, has an overriding obligation to protect the vulnerable and alert the appropriate protective authorities. This is also contingent on the court ordering the disclosure of any material, although the court will recognise the importance of secrecy as a vital element of the process.
  • A distinction is made between an open “Financial Summary” containing financial information (which is open and can be produced to third parties such as the court) and a “Memorandum of Understanding” containing the outcome proposals which are the result of negotiations conducted in the mediation, as opposed to details of the negotiations themselves (which are without prejudice, but will nevertheless be shared with any lawyer acting for each of the parties, but who has no obligation to disclose the information). A “Interim Summary” in one of the following formats may also be created as a working document during the Mediation Worthing.
  • Regarding the Financial Summary, the mediator will prepare a schedule of assets and some options along with net-effect schedules to review with the parties during the mediation; the parties will then determine which option is likely to be most suitable for them and discuss its terms in an attempt to reach a settlement.
  • The parties “reality test” potential solutions to see whether or not they are viable for both parties.
  • Mediation Worthing does not result in a legally enforceable agreement; the mediator will outline the parties’ suggestions in a Memorandum of Understanding, which is then forwarded to the parties’ attorneys for them to write a consent order if a full agreement has been achieved after obtaining legal counsel.
  • Collaboration with third parties If both parties agree and desire to engage a third party who is a trusted adviser to them both and who can provide unbiased information, they may do so if the third party is able to provide impartial advice. This may occur, for instance, if both parties have enlisted the services of a reputable independent financial consultant who can not only supply information, but also aid in analysing the implications of any decisions mentioned on an impartial basis.

What benefits can family mediation offer?

Time-table

The parties are free to proceed with the mediation at their own pace. Some individuals feel the need to discuss concerns in a series of sessions, whilst others would want to complete the process quickly. The parties will have the opportunity to discuss pace with the mediator and determine the appropriate number and duration of sessions. The perception is that Mediation Worthing is far less contentious than litigation. With the guidance of a mediator, the parties will collaborate to develop recommendations and solutions. They will give information in a manner that is clear and transparent so that all parties can completely comprehend it. The mediator will examine the disclosure for any discrepancies. It should not be considered that the standard of disclosure is less stringent because the parties are participating in mediation. If anything, mediation increases the parties’ ability to seek as much or as little disclosure as they like, subject to gaining appropriate financial insight.

Cost

Typically, mediation is less expensive than other procedural methods. The mediator’s hourly rate is effectively divided in half, however a financially stronger side may pay for the sessions without compromising the mediator’s impartiality. The typical duration of a session is 1.5 hours. There are, however, extra costs outside of the Mediation Worthing process associated with the preparation for the meetings and the writing up of the outcomes, such as evaluating disclaimer, preparing asset schedules, and preparing net-effect schedules, as well as separate costs for the solicitors chosen to represent the parties outside of the process.

Outcome

Rather than depending on the opinion of a third party, such as a judge, arbitrator, or even a lawyer, the conclusion is based on what the couple considers to be fair to both of them and to the other. This indicates that, despite the fact that there is often a cost and a profit for each party, both parties regard the conclusion to be balanced. This should leave both parties with the impression that they have been heard and that their needs have been taken into account, allowing them to emotionally accept the conclusion rather than having it pushed upon them.

Contact a Mediator in Worthing today on 03300100052

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