MEDIATION IS THE ESTABLISHED AND COURT APPROVED APPROACH OF OPTION DISAGREEMENT RESOLUTION.
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child mediation process

Kids in Mediation?

Parents typically pertain to mediation with the incorrect assumption that a mediator’s job is to settle a disagreement. When the disagreement is regarding custody or time-sharing, parents often have opposite views of what they believe their kids ask the mediator and want to speak with the children. For various reasons, challenging a child with such a concern can put the child into a dangerous mental position:

  1. Children need to know they have moms and dads they can depend upon to make good choices for them.
  2. Children must not be asked concerns that require them to choose between their parents.
  3. Kids are typically too immature to understand what remains in their benefits. They ‘d like to be with the moms and dad who will let them have chocolate cake for breakfast.
  4. Children have excellent problem frustrating a parent they are entirely dependent upon.
  5. Children are typically “ready” to tell the mediator what the moms and dad desires.
  6. Kids fear retribution (genuine or thought of).

Contrary to common belief, there is no age when the child can legally decide where s/he wishes to live. Acknowledging the age of majority as the legal capability to decide residence and the potential psychological damage to a child, judges do not like to see children in the courtroom. If they talk with a child, they typically prefer to do it in chambers and might hold it against moms and dads and their lawyers.

There are appropriate times when a mediator satisfies with the children. A mediator might wish to get specific input from the children about how Mother and Papa can best help them through this time. “Mommy sends messages to Dad through me.”

Another appropriate discussion might be to discover their specific vacation desires (” We want to have Christmas eve with Mom at Granny’s and Christmas day with Daddy.” “We want to have 2 turkey suppers on Thanksgiving.” “I desire my birthday at the pizza parlor so Mom and Dad can both come.”).

A mediator may consult with the family after the agreement is in its final form to
assistance describe it to the children.

The mediator needs to make it clear to the child, or preferably to the parents, that we require input from the child, not decisions. If the mediator does not desire to talk with the child, and if the parents can not gather input from the child without jeopardizing him or her, a child’s counselor, or an equally acceptable child development specialist can frequently speak to what is in that child’s best interests.

Custody Mediation

Prior to talking with children in mediation, the mediator should get a contract from the moms and dads regarding the purpose of collecting info from the child. Make sure the moms and dads understand the child’s requirement for safety and comfort. Help them be sensitive to divided commitment and dependence problems. Spend a long time learning from both parents what each child resembles so you can use this details to build connection when you talk with the child.

Prior to proceeding, get contract concerning what the children are informed ahead of time about why they are concerning mediation. The information must be clear (input just) and ideally presented by both moms and dads together. Schedule neutral transport (both parents, or relied on family buddy).

At the visit, meet with kids and parents together to explain what a mediator does, go over ground rules (we need their input not their choice) and explain the requirement for and limits of privacy. Get approval from the parents in front of the kids for the children to talk candidly with the mediator.

Meet with the children together to ensure they comprehend why they are meeting with you and let them know how you’re going to proceed. I find it handy to meet with all the kids together, then with each child separately, then reconvene with all the children again, then meet the parents independently or together with the kids, depending on the information collected 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 meeting with a child under 9-10, you might find it helpful to have some art supplies handy. Kids typically can express themselves more comfortably when they are playing. After some rapport structure, a common children’s interview may continue as follows:

  1. Inform the child what Mother and father told you about him/her (their favorite activities, school topics, friends, etc), include what the parents said they liked most about the child (affectionate, creative, valuable, etc.).
  2. Ask what they like about Mom/Dad (do for each moms and dad in turn).
  3. Ask if there is anything they do that Mom/Dad don’t like.
  4. Ask if there is anything Mom/Dad do that they do not like (again, provide for eac moms and dad in turn).
  5. Ask what Dad/Mom can do to make his/her life much easier today (again, provide for each parent in turn and think about reversing order).
  6. Let them know you are working with Mother and father on parenting concerns which you require their assistance to make good choices. Make it clear that Father and Mom are deciding and their function is give details (not decisions).
  7. Inquire about a child’s holiday choices.
  8. If there’s anything they desire you to inform Mom/Dad, ask.
  9. Ask if there’s anything that you talked about that they don’t desire you to tell Mother and father.
  10. Make sure they understand what you are going to do with the info they have actually shared. Make arrangements for a follow-up see, or phone call.

When the disagreement is regarding custody or time-sharing, moms and dads frequently have opposite views of what they believe their children ask the mediator and desire to talk to the kids. The mediator should make it clear to the child, or ideally to the moms and dads, that we require input from the child, not decisions. If the mediator does not want 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 counselor, or an equally appropriate child advancement expert can frequently speak to what is in that child’s finest interests.

Before talking with children in mediation, the mediator must get an arrangement from the moms and dads concerning the purpose of collecting info from the child. I find it valuable to meet with all the children together, then with each child separately, then reconvene with all the kids once again, then meet with the parents individually or together with the kids, depending on the information gathered from the kids.

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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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