National Family Mediation Service eliminated the tension of fighting at court and conserve you the substantial expense of lawyers charges. You can, together with our professional skilled conciliators resolve the problems together, even if you have had troubles communicating with each other in the past.

family Mediation Process

The Basics of Family Mediation


Mediation is a voluntary, consensual procedure that uses an experienced, neutral third party to facilitate the negotiation of disputes. The objective is to reach a binding settlement agreement.


” Normally … nearly any civil conflict is amenable to mediation.”
Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carrico, 3/27/95


Using mediation is increasing drastically throughout the country. The advantages of mediation are acknowledged to be significant and many.

  • Control by celebrations– The parties remain in charge of the outcome.
  • Chance for much better outcomes– The celebrations understand their dispute better than any court or jury could.
  • Effective– Roughly 85% of cases managed by The National Family Mediation Service reach settlement.
  • Greater compliance– Celebrations are most likely to abide by a mediated outcome than with a judgment or an arbitration award.
  • Decreased time and cost– Mediation can be concluded in a single day or in a series of shorter sessions over a time period selected by the celebrations.
  • Voluntary, consensual process– The parties stay in control. The outcome is determined by the parties.
  • Preserved, improved relationships between celebrations– Maintaining or improving relationships is particularly essential in family cases where the parties might have ongoing transactions with each other or with children or other member of the family.
  • Decreased tension and disturbances to ongoing activities.
  • Improved relationships and skills– Mediation assists celebrations in future negotiations and disagreement resolution.


There are a number of methods to get to mediation.

  1. Most often, one party decides it would be useful to fix the dispute through mediation and recommends mediation to the other celebration.
  2. In pending litigation, the court typically suggests or even orders that the parties think about mediation. A staff person will provide details about the mediation process and will answer any questions the celebrations or their lawyers may have.


As soon as the parties have actually agreed to mediate, The National Family Mediation Service deals with the celebrations or their counsel to determine which of its mediators would be best suited to serve. The personnel person handling the case may recommend one or more mediators based on the concerns or profile of the case, although the parties or counsel may ask for a specific mediator as well.

The fundamental function of a mediator is not to render a choice but to help with a negotiation and help the parties in clarifying their issues and fixing them. If the celebrations choose, an extra function of a mediator may be to evaluate the problems in dispute.

  • Neutrality
  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal abilities
  • Experience
  • Training
  • Subject expertise, if the parties want examination of the issues
  • Availability


Before the mediation occurs, a personnel individual will speak with the parties or their attorneys to make sure that the case is appropriate for mediation, and to discuss who will be present, the format of mediation, and costs. The mediator will carry out a conference call with the parties and/or their lawyers prior to the mediation.


Attorneys have a vital function to play in ensuring that celebrations have a clear understanding of their legal rights and obligations as they go through the mediation procedure. The mediated agreement that parties reach is just as strong as the info on which it is based, and it is crucial that parties be well informed and clearly encouraged about the ramifications of the decisions they are making.


The mediator initially explains the process to be used and develops the ground rules. All those in attendance sign a mediation contract which, to name a few things, binds them to stringent privacy.

One party presents his/her view of the conflict. This discussion is informal and can be done by the attorney and/or the customer. Interrogation is not used, nor are any guidelines of proof or treatment used. The other party is then given an opportunity to provide his/her view of the case. This procedure continues as long as essential to get the issues on the table.

With the aid of the mediator, the parties and their counsel then initiate negotiations. The mediator helps the celebrations focus on identifying the real issues and addressing them.

While the legal elements of the family conflict are definitely relevant in the negotiation, possible options might involve extra-legal concerns. These non-legal matters are often at the heart of the dispute, yet they might not be adequately addressed in a courtroom.

The negotiations continue till successfully completed or until the celebrations choose that they are unable to reach a resolution. The analytical may take place in confidential personal sessions (” caucuses”) between each party and the mediator, with counsel, and may also happen over more than one session.

Depending upon the needs of the parties, family mediations might either be set up to be finished in one day or in two- to three-hour sessions. Often, it is decided in the initial session that additional info needs to be gathered or that the parties need time outside of the mediation to finish specific jobs or to look for other possible options to a particular concern. Because case, the participants merely arrange a subsequent session to give them time to gather the required information.

Child between parents happy

A settlement arrangement is decreased to writing when the celebrations reach agreement. The attorneys prepare the terms of the agreement. If questions are raised during the legal evaluation, the celebrations can consent to return to mediation to go over the problems and finalize the agreement, if necessary. Or they can waive this legal review and consent to a binding agreement in the mediation. Agreements affecting the rights of kids may undergo continuous judicial evaluation.

The basic design of The National Family Mediation Service is facilitation. This involves the individual skills of a mediator utilized to clarify interests, determine problems, test the merit of positions, and usually to assist the celebrations in moving toward commonalities. A mediator may offer legal information including the neutral evaluation of issues. Such assessment is supplied just where (1) the parties request it; (2) the mediator thinks that the requested examination is needed and proper; (3) the mediator is certified to provide such evaluation; (4) there suffices information on which to base such examination; and (5) such assessment is provided in qualified and fairly broad terms. As the mediation earnings, the needs of the parties might alter, and the nature of the services supplied might likewise alter, as the celebrations may request.

The National Family Mediation Service do not give other or legal professional guidance. They do not forecast specific results to legal disagreements. While they may recommend possible choices by which to deal with a dispute, they do not suggest any specific option given that the supreme choice is made by the parties.

The parties and their counsel are well served by proper preparation, whether the lawyer will be taking part in the real mediation or not. Both the party and attorney need to have:

  • A reasonable view of the problems in the dispute.
  • A clear understanding of his or her needs and goals.
  • A preliminary presentation of his or her viewpoint.
  • A willingness to compromise.

In addition, they should be prepared to:

  • Listen
  • Evaluate
  • Check out choices to be considered in the basic session and in caucuses.
  • Explore and examine different settlement circumstances.
  • Discover methods to assist the other celebration to be versatile on vital issues.
  • Check out a resolution
  • Make a decision

The essential to that result is that the choice maker in mediation is not a judge, the lawyers, or the mediator– the choice makers are the celebrations, with the recommendations and help of counsel. Hence, the most efficient method to mediation is most likely to be based on a desire to reach an excellent resolution and end the dispute, rather than the combative style that might have defined previously interactions in between the celebrations and their counsel.

Generally, the interaction happening within the mediation procedure is private. This motivates a complete exchange of truths, views and sensations.

Prior to the mediation happens, a staff person will speak with the parties or their attorneys to make sure that the case is appropriate for mediation, and to discuss who will be present, the format of mediation, and expenses. The mediator will perform a conference call with the parties and/or their legal representatives prior to the mediation. The mediated contract that parties reach is just as strong as the info on which it is based, and it is crucial that celebrations be well notified and clearly encouraged about the implications of the decisions they are making.

As the mediation earnings, the needs of the celebrations may change, and the nature of the services supplied may also change, as the parties may ask for.

The essential to that result is that the choice maker in mediation is not a judge, the legal representatives, or the mediator– the choice makers are the celebrations, with the recommendations and help of counsel.

National Family Mediation Service Videos
Learn More About MEDIATION From WikiPedia

Mediation is a structured, interactive process where an impartial third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process. Mediation is a “party-centered” process in that it is focused primarily upon the needs, rights, and interests of the parties. The mediator uses a wide variety of techniques to guide the process in a constructive direction and to help the parties find their optimal solution. A mediator is facilitative in that she/he manages the interaction between parties and facilitates open communication. Mediation is also evaluative in that the mediator analyzes issues and relevant norms (“reality-testing”), while refraining from providing prescriptive advice to the parties (e.g., “You should do… .”).

Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community, and family matters.

The term “mediation” broadly refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach an agreement. More specifically, mediation has a structure, timetable, and dynamics that “ordinary” negotiation lacks. The process is private and confidential, possibly enforced by law. Participation is typically voluntary. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates rather than directs the process. Mediation is becoming a more peaceful and internationally accepted solution to end the conflict. Mediation can be used to resolve disputes of any magnitude.

The term “mediation,” however, due to language as well as national legal standards and regulations is not identical in content in all countries but rather has specific connotations, and there are some differences between Anglo-Saxon definitions and other countries, especially countries with a civil, statutory law tradition.

Mediators use various techniques to open, or improve, dialogue and empathy between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. Much depends on the mediator’s skill and training. As the practice gained popularity, training programs, certifications, and licensing followed, which produced trained and professional mediators committed to the discipline.

Related Articles
National Family Mediation Service Offers
From Around the Web