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National Family Mediation Service helps you make you own choices about what is finest for you and your family in future without litigating. We will assist you improve interaction, resolve your conflicts and reach a practical, long-lasting option rapidly, compassionately and cost-effectively.

Our exceptional team of family arbitrators are trained to guide you through the procedure to reduce the distress, hold-up and cost so typically related to separation and divorce.

child mediation process

Children in Mediation?

Moms and dads frequently concern mediation with the incorrect assumption that a mediator’s job is to settle a dispute. When the conflict is concerning custody or time-sharing, parents frequently have opposite views of what they believe their children ask the mediator and desire to talk to the children. For many reasons, facing a child with such a question can put the child into a dangerous psychological position:

  1. Children require to understand they have moms and dads they can depend upon to make great choices for them.
  2. Children must not be asked questions that require them to choose in between their parents.
  3. Kids are frequently too immature to understand what is in their benefits. They ‘d like to be with the moms and dad who will let them have chocolate cake for breakfast.
  4. Kids have excellent trouble frustrating a moms and dad they are totally dependent upon.
  5. Children are typically “ready” to inform the mediator what the parent desires.
  6. Kids fear retribution (genuine or envisioned).

Contrary to popular belief, there is no age when the child can legally decide where s/he wants to live. Acknowledging the age of bulk as the legal capability to decide house and the prospective emotional damage to a child, judges do not like to see children in the courtroom. They frequently prefer to do it in chambers and might hold it versus parents and their attorneys if they talk to a child.

When a mediator meets with the kids, there are proper times. A mediator may wish to get specific input from the children about how Mom and Dad can best help them through this time. Some common problems are: “Make them stop fighting.” “We’re tired of tuna noodle casseroles.” “Papa keeps asking me what’s going on between Mommy and her boyfriend.” “Mom sends out messages to Papa through me.”

Another proper discussion might be to find their specific holiday desires (” We want to have Christmas eve with Mother at Grandma’s and Christmas day with Daddy.” “We wish to have 2 turkey dinners on Thanksgiving.” “I want my birthday at the pizza parlor so Mom and Dad can both come.”).

A mediator might meet the family after the agreement is in its final form to
help explain it to the children.

The mediator should make it clear to the child, or ideally to the parents, that we require input from the child, not choices. 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 a mutually acceptable child development expert can frequently speak to what is in that child’s best interests.

Custody Mediation

Before talking with kids in mediation, the mediator needs to get an arrangement from the parents relating to the purpose of collecting information from the child. Invest some time finding out from both parents what each child is like so you can utilize this details to construct rapport when you talk with the child.

Prior to case, get agreement regarding what the kids are told ahead of time about why they are concerning mediation. The details should be clear (input only) and ideally provided by both parents together. Arrange for neutral transportation (both moms and dads, or trusted family buddy).

At the consultation, meet with children and parents together to describe what a mediator does, go over guideline (we require their input not their choice) and discuss the need for and limits of privacy. Get authorization from the parents in front of the kids for the children to talk candidly with the mediator.

Meet the kids together to ensure they understand why they are meeting you and let them know how you’re going to proceed. I find it valuable to meet all the kids together, then with each child independently, then reconvene with all the kids again, then meet with the moms and dads separately or together with the kids, depending on the information collected from the children. When conference with each child independently, arrange their coming and going so they are not influenced by each other or their moms and dads.

When conference with a child under 9-10, you might find it practical to have some art materials convenient. When they are playing, kids usually can express themselves more conveniently. After some relationship building, a typical kids’s interview may continue as follows:

  1. Inform the child what Mom and Dad told you about him/her (their favorite activities, school topics, good friends, etc), include what the moms and dads stated they liked most about the child (affectionate, innovative, valuable, etc.).
  2. Ask what they like about Mom/Dad (do for each moms and dad in turn).
  3. If there is anything they do that Mom/Dad don’t like, ask.
  4. Ask if there is anything Mom/Dad do that they do not like (again, do for eac parent in turn).
  5. Ask what Dad/Mom can do to make his/her life simpler right now (again, do for each parent in turn and think about reversing order).
  6. Let them understand you are working with Mom and Dad on parenting concerns which you require their help to make good decisions. Make it clear that Papa and Mommy are choosing and their role is give info (not choices).
  7. Ask about a child’s vacation choices.
  8. Ask if there’s anything they want you to tell Mom/Dad.
  9. Ask if there’s anything that you discussed that they do not want you to tell Mom and Dad.
  10. Make sure they comprehend what you are going to do with the details they have actually shared. Make arrangements for a follow-up see, or telephone call.

When the conflict is relating to custody or time-sharing, parents often have opposite views of what they think their kids want and ask the mediator to talk 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 want to talk with the child, and if the parents can not collect input from the child without compromising him or her, a child’s therapist, or an equally appropriate child advancement specialist can typically speak to what is in that child’s best interests.

Prior to talking with kids in mediation, the mediator must get a contract from the moms and dads regarding the purpose of collecting details from the child. I find it helpful to satisfy with all the children together, then with each child separately, then reconvene with all the children again, then satisfy with the moms and dads separately or together with the kids, depending on the information collected 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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