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National Family Mediation Service helps you make you own decisions about what is best for you and your family in future without going to court. We will assist you enhance communication, fix your disputes and reach a convenient, long-lasting solution quickly, compassionately and cost-effectively.

Our exceptional group of family mediators are trained to direct you through the procedure to minimize the delay, cost and distress so frequently related to separation and divorce.

child mediation process

Kids in Mediation?

Moms and dads often concern mediation with the mistaken presumption that a mediator’s job is to settle a disagreement. When the conflict is concerning custody or time-sharing, parents often have opposite views of what they believe their children ask the mediator and want to talk to the kids. For numerous reasons, confronting a child with such a question can put the child into a dangerous psychological position:

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

Contrary to common belief, there is no age when the child can lawfully choose where s/he wants to live. Acknowledging the age of majority as the legal ability to decide home and the potential emotional damage to a child, judges do not like to see children in the courtroom. If they speak with a child, they often choose to do it in chambers and may hold it versus moms and dads and their lawyers.

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

Another proper discussion may be to discover their specific vacation desires (” We want to have Christmas eve with Mommy at Grandmother’s and Christmas day with Daddy.” “We wish to have 2 turkey suppers on Thanksgiving.” “I desire my birthday at the pizza parlor so Mother and father can both come.”).

A mediator might consult with the family after the agreement remains in its final type to
help describe it to the children.

The mediator needs to make it clear to the child, or preferably to the moms and dads, that we need input from the child, not choices. If the mediator does not desire to talk with the child, and if the parents can not gather input from the child without compromising him or her, a child’s therapist, or an equally acceptable child development specialist can often speak to what is in that child’s finest interests.

Custody Mediation

Before talking with children in mediation, the mediator needs to get an arrangement from the parents concerning the function of gathering details from the child. Spend some time finding out from both parents what each child is like so you can utilize this info to develop connection when you talk with the child.

Before case, get contract concerning what the children are told ahead of time about why they are pertaining to mediation. The details needs to be clear (input only) and ideally presented by both moms and dads together. Arrange for neutral transportation (both moms and dads, or relied on family friend).

At the appointment, meet moms and dads and children together to discuss what a mediator does, go over guideline (we need their input not their choice) and explain the requirement for and limitations of confidentiality. Get consent from the moms and dads in front of the children for the children to talk openly with the mediator.

Consult with the children together to make sure they understand why they are meeting with you and let them know how you’re going to continue. I find it useful to meet all the children together, then with each child separately, then reconvene with all the kids again, then meet the parents independently or together with the kids, depending on the details gathered from the children. When meeting with each child independently, organize their coming and going so they are not influenced by each other or their parents.

When conference with a child under 9-10, you might find it useful to have some art products useful. When they are playing, children generally can express themselves more comfortably. After some rapport structure, a normal kids’s interview might continue as follows:

  1. Inform the child what Mother and father told you about him/her (their favorite activities, school subjects, good friends, etc), include what the parents said they liked most about the child (caring, imaginative, practical, 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 easier right now (again, do for each parent in turn and consider reversing order).
  6. Let them know you are working with Mother and father on parenting problems and that you need their assistance to make great decisions. Make it clear that Papa and Mommy are choosing and their role is offer info (not choices).
  7. Inquire about a child’s vacation preferences.
  8. Ask if there’s anything they desire you to tell Mom/Dad.
  9. Ask if there’s anything that you spoke about that they don’t desire you to tell Mom and Dad.
  10. Make sure they understand 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 disagreement is relating to custody or time-sharing, parents frequently have opposite views of what they believe their kids desire and ask the mediator to talk to the kids. The mediator must 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 collect input from the child without compromising him or her, a child’s counselor, or a mutually appropriate child advancement expert can often speak to what is in that child’s best interests.

Prior to talking with kids in mediation, the mediator needs to get an arrangement from the parents regarding the function of gathering details from the child. I find it useful to fulfill with all the children together, then with each child separately, then reconvene with all the kids once again, then fulfill with the moms and dads separately or together with the children, depending on the info 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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