We are an expert all problems family mediation service committed to assisting separating couples work out future plans for children, home and financial resources for Legal and personal Aid clients. We assess for Legal Help– evaluation complimentary. Inquire about totally free meetings for private customers.

National Family Mediation Service assists you make you own decisions about what is best for you and your family in future without litigating. We will help you improve communication, fix your conflicts and reach a practical, lasting service quickly, compassionately and cost-effectively.

Our excellent group of family conciliators are trained to direct you through the procedure to reduce the expense, distress and hold-up so often associated with separation and divorce.

family Mediation Process

The Fundamentals of Family Mediation


Mediation is a voluntary, consensual process that uses a trained, neutral third party to facilitate the negotiation of conflicts. The goal is to reach a binding settlement contract.


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


The use of mediation is increasing dramatically throughout the country. The benefits of mediation are acknowledged to be numerous and significant.

  • Control by parties– The parties remain in charge of the result.
  • Opportunity for better outcomes– The parties understand their disagreement much better than any court or jury could.
  • Reliable– Approximately 85% of cases handled by The National Family Mediation Service reach settlement.
  • Greater compliance– Parties are more likely to abide by a mediated outcome than with a judgment or an arbitration award.
  • Lowered time and expense– Mediation can be concluded in a single day or in a series of shorter sessions over a period of time chosen by the celebrations.
  • Voluntary, consensual process– The parties stay in control. The result is determined by the parties.
  • Maintained, improved relationships in between celebrations– Protecting or enhancing relationships is especially essential in family cases where the parties might have ongoing negotiations with each other or with children or other family members.
  • Decreased tension and disruptions to continuous activities.
  • Improved relationships and abilities– Mediation helps parties in future negotiations and disagreement resolution.


There are a number of methods to get to mediation.

  1. Frequently, one celebration chooses it would be handy to fix the dispute through mediation and recommends mediation to the other celebration.
  2. In pending lawsuits, the court typically suggests or perhaps orders that the celebrations consider mediation. A call will get the process moving. A personnel person will supply details about the mediation process and will address any questions the parties or their attorneys may have.


When the parties have actually agreed to mediate, The National Family Mediation Service deals with the parties or their counsel to figure out which of its arbitrators would be best matched to serve. The personnel individual managing the case might recommend one or more mediators based on the concerns or profile of the case, although the parties or counsel may ask for a particular mediator.

The basic function of a mediator is not to render a decision but to assist in a settlement and help the celebrations in clarifying their issues and solving them. If the celebrations pick, an additional function of a mediator may be to examine the problems in disagreement.

  • Neutrality
  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal abilities
  • Experience
  • Training
  • Subject matter proficiency, if the celebrations desire assessment of the issues
  • Availability


Prior to the mediation happens, a staff individual will speak with the celebrations or their legal representatives 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 carry out a conference call with the parties and/or their attorneys prior to the mediation.


Attorneys have a critical function to play in guaranteeing that celebrations have a clear understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities as they go through the mediation procedure. The mediated contract that parties reach is only as strong as the information on which it is based, and it is important that parties be well notified and plainly encouraged about the implications of the choices they are making.


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

One party presents his/her view of the conflict. This presentation is informal and can be done by the attorney and/or the customer. Interrogation is not utilized, nor are any guidelines of evidence or procedure utilized. The other party is then offered 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 start settlements. The mediator assists the celebrations concentrate on identifying the real issues and resolving them.

While the legal aspects of the family disagreement are certainly relevant in the negotiation, possible services may involve extra-legal problems also. These non-legal matters are typically at the heart of the dispute, yet they may not be sufficiently attended to in a courtroom.

The settlements continue until successfully completed or up until the parties decide that they are unable to reach a resolution. The analytical may happen in confidential private sessions (” caucuses”) in between the mediator and each celebration, with counsel, and may also occur over more than one session.

Depending on the needs of the parties, family mediations may either be scheduled to be finished in one day or in two- to three-hour sessions. Typically, it is decided in the initial session that additional info needs to be collected or that the parties need time beyond the mediation to finish particular tasks or to look for other possible services to a particular concern. In that case, the participants merely set up a subsequent session to provide time to collect the essential information.

Child between parents happy

A settlement contract is lowered to writing when the celebrations reach arrangement. If concerns are raised during the legal review, the parties can agree to return to mediation to discuss the problems and complete the contract, if needed.

The essential design of The National Family Mediation Service is assistance. This includes the personal abilities of a mediator used to clarify interests, recognize issues, test the benefit of positions, and usually to assist the celebrations in approaching common ground. A mediator may provide legal info including the neutral examination of issues. Such assessment is offered only where (1) the celebrations request it; (2) the mediator believes that the requested evaluation is appropriate and needed; (3) the mediator is certified to offer such evaluation; (4) there suffices information on which to base such examination; and (5) such assessment is offered in qualified and reasonably broad terms. As the mediation proceeds, the requirements of the parties might alter, and the nature of the services offered might also change, as the parties might request.

The National Family Mediation Service do not offer legal or other expert guidance. They do not forecast particular outcomes to legal conflicts. While they might recommend possible options by which to resolve a conflict, they do not recommend any particular service because the supreme choice is made by the celebrations.

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

  • A reasonable view of the issues in the dispute.
  • A clear understanding of his or her goals and requirements.
  • An initial discussion of his/her perspective.
  • A willingness to jeopardize.

In addition, they must be prepared to:

  • Listen
  • Assess
  • Check out alternatives to be considered in the basic session and in caucuses.
  • Explore and assess various settlement circumstances.
  • Find ways to help the other party to be flexible on crucial issues.
  • Explore a resolution
  • Decide

The essential to that outcome is that the choice maker in mediation is not a judge, the legal representatives, or the mediator– the decision makers are the parties, with the guidance and help of counsel. Therefore, the most effective method to mediation is most likely to be based on a desire to reach a good resolution and end the dispute, rather than the combative design that may have identified previously interactions between the celebrations and their counsel.

Generally, the interaction taking place within the mediation procedure is private. This motivates a full exchange of views, truths and feelings.

Before the mediation takes place, a staff person will speak with the celebrations 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 conduct a conference call with the celebrations and/or their lawyers prior to the mediation. The mediated agreement that parties reach is just as strong as the details on which it is based, and it is vital that parties be well informed and clearly encouraged about the ramifications of the decisions they are making.

As the mediation profits, the needs of the celebrations might change, and the nature of the services supplied may likewise alter, as the celebrations might request.

The crucial to that outcome is that the choice maker in mediation is not a judge, the lawyers, or the mediator– the choice makers are the parties, with the guidance and help of counsel.

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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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