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National Family Mediation Service helps you make you own choices about what is best for you and your family in future without going to court. We will help you improve interaction, resolve your disputes and reach a practical, long-lasting service quickly, compassionately and cost-effectively.

Our exceptional group of family conciliators are trained to direct you through the procedure to minimize the cost, distress and delay so often connected with separation and divorce.

child mediation process

Children in Mediation?

Parents frequently concern mediation with the mistaken assumption that a mediator’s job is to settle a conflict. When the dispute is concerning custody or time-sharing, moms and dads often have opposite views of what they think their kids want and ask the mediator to speak to the kids. For many reasons, confronting a child with such a concern can put the child into a harmful mental position:

  1. Kids need to know they have parents they can depend upon to make good choices for them.
  2. Children should not be asked questions that require them to pick between their parents.
  3. Kids are typically too immature to understand what remains in their benefits. They ‘d like to be with the parent who will let them have chocolate cake for breakfast.
  4. Children have fantastic difficulty frustrating a moms and dad they are entirely reliant upon.
  5. Kids are often “prepared” to inform the mediator what the parent desires.
  6. Kids fear retribution (real or imagined).

Contrary to popular belief, there is no age when the child can legally choose where s/he wants to live. Recognizing the age of bulk as the legal ability to choose residence and the potential psychological damage to a child, judges do not like to see kids in the courtroom. If they talk to a child, they often prefer to do it in chambers and may hold it versus moms and dads and their attorneys.

There are appropriate times when a mediator consults with the kids. A mediator may wish to get specific input from the children about how Mother and father can best help them through this time. Some common complaints are: “Make them stop fighting.” “We’re tired of tuna noodle casseroles.” “Papa keeps asking me what’s going on in between Mommy and her partner.” “Mommy sends out messages to Dad through me.”

Another suitable conversation may be to find their specific holiday desires (” We wish to have Christmas eve with Mother at Grandmother’s and Christmas day with Father.” “We wish to have 2 turkey dinners on Thanksgiving.” “I want my birthday at the pizza parlour so Mom and Dad can both come.”).

A mediator may meet the family after the contract remains in its final form to
aid explain it to the kids.

In general, a child who is 12 years of ages ought to have input into his/her domestic schedule. A child 15 years of ages or more must have really strong input. The mediator needs to make it clear to the child, or ideally to the moms and dads, that we require input from the child, not choices. If the mediator does not wish to talk with the child, and if the moms and dads can not gather input from the child without jeopardizing him or her, a child’s therapist, or a mutually acceptable child advancement specialist can typically speak to what is in that child’s benefits.

Custody Mediation

Prior to talking with kids in mediation, the mediator ought to get an arrangement from the parents concerning the function of gathering info from the child. Invest some time discovering out from both moms and dads what each child is like so you can utilize this details to build relationship when you talk with the child.

Before proceeding, get arrangement concerning what the kids are told ahead of time about why they are concerning mediation. The info needs to be clear (input only) and preferably presented by both parents together. Schedule neutral transportation (both moms and dads, or trusted family good friend).

At the visit, meet parents and children together to explain what a mediator does, discuss guideline (we require their input not their decision) and describe the requirement for and limits of confidentiality. Get authorization from the moms and dads in front of the kids for the children to talk openly with the mediator.

Consult with the children together to make sure they understand why they are consulting with you and let them understand how you’re going to proceed. I discover it valuable to consult with all the children together, then with each child independently, then reconvene with all the kids once again, then consult with the parents separately or together with the children, depending on the information gathered from the kids. When meeting with each child independently, arrange their coming and going so they are not affected by each other or their moms and dads.

When conference with a child under 9-10, you might discover it useful to have some art supplies convenient. When they are playing, children typically can reveal themselves more conveniently. After some rapport building, a typical kids’s interview may continue as follows:

  1. Tell the child what Mother and father told you about him/her (their favorite activities, school topics, friends, etc), include what the parents stated they liked most about the child (caring, creative, useful, and so on).
  2. Ask what they like about Mom/Dad (provide for each moms and dad in turn).
  3. If there is anything they do that Mom/Dad do not like, ask.
  4. Ask if there is anything Mom/Dad do that they do not like (once again, do for eac moms and dad in turn).
  5. Ask what Dad/Mom can do to make his/her life much easier today (again, do for each moms and dad in turn and consider reversing order).
  6. Let them know you are dealing with Mother and father on parenting concerns and that you need their aid to make great decisions. Make it clear that Father and Mommy are choosing and their role is offer info (not decisions).
  7. Ask about a child’s vacation preferences.
  8. Ask if there’s anything they desire you to inform Mom/Dad.
  9. Ask if there’s anything that you discussed that they don’t want you to inform Mother and father.
  10. Make sure they comprehend what you are going to do with the information they have actually shared. Make arrangements for a follow-up visit, or telephone call.

When the conflict is relating to custody or time-sharing, moms and dads often have opposite views of what they think their kids ask the mediator and desire to talk to the children. The mediator ought to make it clear to the child, or preferably to the moms and dads, that we need input from the child, not decisions. If the mediator does not desire to talk with the child, and if the moms and dads can not collect input from the child without jeopardizing him or her, a child’s counselor, or a mutually appropriate child advancement specialist can often speak to what is in that child’s best interests.

Prior to talking with children in mediation, the mediator must get a contract from the parents regarding the purpose of gathering info from the child. I find it handy to satisfy with all the kids together, then with each child separately, then reconvene with all the kids again, then meet with the moms and dads separately or together with the children, depending on the info gathered from the children.

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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.

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