We are a professional all issues family mediation service devoted to helping separating couples work out future plans for kids, residential or commercial property and finances for Personal and Legal Help customers. We examine for Legal Aid– assessment totally free. Ask about complimentary conferences for private customers.

National Family Mediation Service assists you make you own choices about what is best for you and your family in future without going to court. We will assist you improve communication, resolve your conflicts and reach a workable, long-lasting service quickly, compassionately and cost-effectively.

Our excellent team of family mediators are trained to direct you through the procedure to reduce the distress, delay and cost so frequently associated with separation and divorce.

family Mediation Process

The Fundamentals of Family Mediation


Mediation is a voluntary, consensual process that uses a trained, neutral 3rd party to assist in the settlement of conflicts. The goal is to reach a binding settlement arrangement.


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


The use of mediation is increasing drastically throughout the country. The benefits of mediation are recognized to be considerable and numerous.

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


There are a number of ways to get to mediation.

  1. Frequently, one party chooses it would be valuable to fix the disagreement through mediation and suggests mediation to the other celebration.
  2. In pending lawsuits, the court frequently suggests or even orders that the celebrations consider mediation. A call will get the procedure moving. A personnel person will supply info about the mediation procedure and will address any questions the parties or their attorneys might have.


When the parties have actually consented to mediate, The National Family Mediation Service works with the celebrations or their counsel to identify which of its mediators would be finest suited to serve. The staff person dealing with the case may suggest one or more arbitrators based on the concerns or profile of the case, although the parties or counsel may ask for a specific mediator.

The standard role of a mediator is not to render a choice however to help with a negotiation and help the parties in clarifying their concerns and fixing them. An extra role of a mediator may be to examine the issues in conflict if the celebrations select. These roles must be considered in choosing a mediator. Other elements to be thought about include the individual attributes of the mediator:

  • Neutrality
  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Experience
  • Training
  • Subject matter proficiency, if the parties want assessment of the problems
  • Availability


Prior to the mediation occurs, a personnel person will speak to the celebrations or their legal representatives to ensure that the case is appropriate for mediation, and to discuss who will exist, the format of mediation, and costs. The mediator will perform a conference call with the parties and/or their lawyers prior to the mediation. This call is a chance to ask extra concerns and to share any information that might be valuable in moving the procedure forward. It would be talked about during this call if the mediator requires any written information prior to the mediation.


At the mediation itself, parties can have their attorneys present or they can choose to do so themselves. Lawyers have a crucial function to play in making sure that parties have a clear understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities as they go through the mediation procedure. Conciliators are not permitted to give legal advice and are ethically and statutorily obliged to make it clear to the celebrations who select to moderate that they ought to count on legal recommendations. The mediated contract that parties reach is just as strong as the info on which it is based, and it is crucial that celebrations be well informed and plainly recommended about the ramifications of the choices they are making.


The mediator first describes the process to be made use of and establishes the ground rules. All those in attendance indication a mediation arrangement which, among other things, binds them to strict confidentiality.

One celebration presents his or her view of the dispute. This presentation is casual and can be done by the customer and/or the lawyer. Cross-examination is not used, nor are any guidelines of proof or treatment made use of. The other celebration is then given an opportunity to provide his/her view of the case. This process continues as long as needed to get the concerns on the table.

With the help of the mediator, the celebrations and their counsel then start settlements. The mediator assists the parties focus on determining the real issues and resolving them.

While the legal aspects of the family conflict are certainly relevant in the negotiation, possible solutions may include extra-legal concerns. These non-legal matters are often at the heart of the disagreement, yet they might not be adequately attended to in a courtroom.

The settlements continue up until successfully finished or up until the parties decide that they are unable to reach a resolution. The problem-solving might occur in personal private sessions (” caucuses”) in between the mediator and each party, with counsel, and may likewise occur over more than one session.

Depending on the needs of the celebrations, family mediations might either be set up to be finished in one day or in two- to three-hour sessions. Often, it is chosen in the preliminary session that additional details requires to be gathered or that the celebrations need time outside of the mediation to finish specific tasks or to search for other possible services to a particular issue. Because case, the individuals just schedule a subsequent session to provide time to gather the required information.

Child between parents happy

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

The basic design of The National Family Mediation Service is assistance. This involves the individual skills of a mediator utilized to clarify interests, recognize issues, test the merit of positions, and typically to help the parties in moving toward common ground. A mediator might offer legal details consisting of the neutral examination of concerns. Such evaluation is offered just where (1) the celebrations request it; (2) the mediator thinks that the requested examination is necessary and appropriate; (3) the mediator is qualified to give such assessment; (4) there suffices info on which to base such evaluation; and (5) such examination is provided in reasonably broad and competent terms. As the mediation proceeds, the requirements of the celebrations might change, and the nature of the services supplied might likewise alter, as the celebrations may request.

The National Family Mediation Service do not offer legal or other professional suggestions. They do not predict particular outcomes to legal disagreements. While they might suggest possible options by which to deal with a conflict, they do not suggest any specific option given that the supreme choice is made by the parties.

The parties and their counsel are well served by proper preparation, whether the lawyer will be participating in the actual mediation or not. Both the party and attorney must have:

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

In addition, they need to be prepared to:

  • Listen
  • Evaluate
  • Explore choices to be thought about in the basic session and in caucuses.
  • Explore and assess various settlement circumstances.
  • Discover ways to help the other celebration to be versatile on important problems.
  • Explore a resolution
  • Make a decision

Achieving success ways getting to the very best possible outcome with the most affordable possible cost– both monetary and emotional. The essential to that outcome is that the choice maker in mediation is not a judge, the lawyers, or the mediator– the decision makers are the celebrations, with the recommendations and assistance of counsel. Therefore, the most efficient method to mediation is most likely to be based upon a desire to reach an excellent resolution and end the dispute, instead of the combative style that might have characterized earlier interactions between the parties and their counsel. Being open to the possibility of crafting an innovative option indicates that the result might be something that both celebrations can deal with more readily than if the result were troubled them.

Typically, the interaction happening within the mediation procedure is private. This encourages a full exchange of feelings, realities and views.

Before the mediation happens, a staff person will speak with the parties or their attorneys to make sure that the case is suitable for mediation, and to discuss who will be present, the format of mediation, and costs. The mediator will perform a conference call with the parties and/or their attorneys 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 critical that celebrations be well notified and plainly advised about the implications of the decisions they are making.

As the mediation profits, the needs of the celebrations may change, and the nature of the services supplied may likewise change, as the parties might ask for.

The essential to that result is that the choice maker in mediation is not a judge, the legal representatives, or the mediator– the choice makers are the celebrations, with the recommendations and support of counsel.

National Family Mediation Service Videos
Learn More About MEDIATION From WikiPedia
Mediation is a “party-centered” process in that it is concentrated largely upon the demands, legal rights, and also passions of the celebrations. Mediation, as used in legislation, is a form of alternate conflict resolution fixing conflicts in between 2 or more celebrations with concrete effects. Usually, a 3rd celebration, the mediator, assists the events to negotiate a settlement.

Mediation is a “party-centered” procedure in that it is focused largely upon the needs, legal rights, and also passions of the parties. Mediation, as utilized in legislation, is a form of alternative conflict resolution fixing disputes between 2 or more parties with concrete impacts. Typically, a third celebration, the mediator, assists the events to discuss a settlement.

Related Articles
National Family Mediation Service Offers
From Around the Web