In June 2016, the Cayman Islands Judiciary launched mediation in Grand Court family proceedings cases, as a method of resolving family disputes that have already been filed with the court.
This form of mediation is governed by the Mediation Information and Assessment Rules 2016 ( MIAM rules) and the Practice Directions which provide guidance to the Rules.
The Cayman Islands Judiciary was preparing in late 2015 to introduce mediation as an alternative method of resolution (ADR) for disputes, other than criminal, that are readily adaptable to being settled by means of this method. Other than the many obvious benefits, mediation avoids possible protracted litigation through the courts, an advantage to both litigants and to the Courts.
One of the major advantages that mediation offers persons with legal disputes is that it has the potential to expedite what would otherwise be protracted and expensive litigation through the courts. Below are a few examples of how mediation can benefit parties in family proceedings.
How will mediation help me in my family court case?
Couples who are divorcing or settling family disputes in the Grand Court may benefit from mediation in the following ways:
- Reduce the time and cost of the court proceedings. Mediation is quick and can save substantial time and money compared to cases that proceed through the traditional court system until final hearing by the judge.
- Family mediators can help you reach decisions about things that are important to you and your family. It helps you find a way to plan for the future and agree what will work best for you and your family.
- The parties have available, a mediator who is a neutral person that facilitates parents, couples, parties to improve communication and settle the current dispute before the court on agreed terms.
- The mediation can be less stressful than court proceedings.
- Mediation provides you with the space and time to think about the most important issues that will affect your family and provides a positive and safe environment for you to work out the best arrangements for your children/family.
- Divorcing couples are often better able to accept and respect a mediated agreement that they have worked out together as opposed to the court imposing a decision on the parties.
- Mediation is confidential.
- Successful mediations result in a mediation agreement, whereby the participants return to court with an agreed position. This facilitates the making of a final Order by the Judge on a consent basis.