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National Family Mediation Service helps you make you own decisions about what is finest for you and your family in future without litigating. We will assist you enhance communication, fix your conflicts and reach a workable, long-lasting option rapidly, compassionately and cost-effectively.

Our exceptional group of family conciliators are trained to direct you through the process to decrease the expense, delay and distress so frequently associated with separation and divorce.

child mediation process

Children in Mediation?

Moms and dads often pertain to mediation with the mistaken presumption that a mediator’s job is to settle a disagreement. When the dispute is regarding custody or time-sharing, moms and dads typically have opposite views of what they think their kids ask the mediator and desire to talk with the children. For various reasons, facing a child with such a question can put the child into a hazardous psychological position:

  1. Children need to know they have parents they can depend on to make great decisions for them.
  2. Children should not be asked questions that require them to select between their parents.
  3. Children are frequently too immature to know what remains in their benefits. They ‘d love to be with the parent who will let them have chocolate cake for breakfast.
  4. Children have excellent difficulty frustrating a moms and dad they are totally dependent upon.
  5. Children are frequently “ready” to inform the mediator what the moms and dad wants.
  6. Kids fear retribution (genuine or imagined).

Contrary to common belief, there is no age when the child can legally choose where s/he wants to live. Acknowledging the age of majority as the legal ability to decide residence and the possible psychological 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 against moms and dads and their lawyers.

There are suitable times when a mediator satisfies with the children. A mediator might want to get specific input from the kids about how Mom and Dad can best assist them through this time. “Mother sends messages to Papa through me.”

Another appropriate conversation may be to find their particular holiday desires (” We wish to have Christmas eve with Mommy at Grandmother’s and Christmas day with Father.” “We want to have two turkey dinners on Thanksgiving.” “I want my birthday at the pizza parlor so Mother and father can both come.”).

A mediator may consult with the family after the agreement remains in its last kind to
help discuss it to the children.

In general, a child who is 12 years of ages need to have input into his/her domestic schedule. A child 15 years old or more must have very strong input. The mediator must make it clear to the child, or preferably to the parents, that we need 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 compromising him or her, a child’s counselor, or an equally acceptable child advancement specialist can typically talk to what remains in that child’s best interests.

Custody Mediation

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

Before proceeding, get arrangement regarding what the children are told ahead of time about why they are concerning mediation. The details should be clear (input only) and preferably provided by both parents together. Schedule neutral transportation (both parents, or trusted family good friend).

At the visit, consult with moms and dads and children together to describe what a mediator does, review guideline (we require their input not their choice) and describe the requirement for and limits of privacy. Get approval from the parents in front of the children for the kids to talk candidly with the mediator.

Meet the children together to make sure they comprehend why they are meeting with you and let them know how you’re going to continue. I find it handy to meet all the children together, then with each child individually, then reconvene with all the kids again, then meet with the moms and dads individually or together with the children, depending on the info collected from the children. When meeting with each child separately, organize their coming and going so they are not influenced by each other or their moms and dads.

When meeting with a child under 9-10, you might find it useful to have some art supplies convenient. Children typically can reveal themselves more easily when they are playing. After some relationship building, a normal children’s interview may proceed as follows:

  1. Inform the child what Mom and Dad informed you about him/her (their favorite activities, school topics, good friends, etc), include what the parents stated they liked most about the child (caring, imaginative, helpful, etc.).
  2. Ask what they like about Mom/Dad (provide for each parent 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 (once again, provide for eac moms and dad in turn).
  5. Ask what Dad/Mom can do to make his/her life much easier right now (again, provide for each moms and dad in turn and consider reversing order).
  6. Let them understand you are dealing with Mom and Dad on parenting problems which you need their aid to make good choices. Make it clear that Dad and Mom are choosing and their function is give details (not decisions).
  7. Ask about a child’s holiday choices.
  8. If there’s anything they desire you to tell Mom/Dad, ask.
  9. If there’s anything that you talked about that they do not desire you to inform Mommy and Father, ask.
  10. Make certain they comprehend what you are going to do with the info they have actually shared. Make plans for a follow-up visit, or call.

When the conflict is regarding custody or time-sharing, moms and dads frequently have opposite views of what they believe their kids ask the mediator and want 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 gather input from the child without jeopardizing him or her, a child’s counselor, or a mutually appropriate child development specialist can frequently speak to what is in that child’s best interests.

Prior to talking with children in mediation, the mediator needs to get an agreement from the parents concerning the purpose of gathering info from the child. I discover it useful to fulfill with all the children together, then with each child individually, then reconvene with all the kids again, then satisfy with the parents individually or together with the kids, 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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