We are a specialist all problems family mediation service devoted to helping separating couples work out future arrangements for children, home and financial resources for Private and Legal Help clients. We examine for Legal Aid– evaluation totally free. Inquire about complimentary meetings for personal clients.

National Family Mediation Service helps you make you own choices about what is best for you and your family in future without going to court. We will help you improve interaction, solve your disputes and reach a workable, long-lasting option quickly, compassionately and cost-effectively.

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

family Mediation Process

The Essentials of Family Mediation


Mediation is a voluntary, consensual procedure that uses a skilled, neutral third party to assist in the settlement of disputes. The objective is to reach a binding settlement agreement.


” Typically … almost any civil disagreement is amenable to mediation.”
Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carrico, 3/27/95


Making use of mediation is increasing significantly across the nation. The advantages of mediation are recognized to be numerous and considerable.

  • Control by parties– The parties stay in charge of the result.
  • Opportunity for better outcomes– The celebrations understand their conflict better than any court or jury could.
  • Reliable– Around 85% of cases managed by The National Family Mediation Service reach settlement.
  • Greater compliance– Parties are more likely to abide by a mediated result than with a judgment or an arbitration award.
  • Decreased time and expense– Mediation can be concluded in a single day or in a series of much shorter sessions over an amount of time selected by the parties.
  • Voluntary, consensual process– The parties stay in control. The result is determined by the parties.
  • Preserved, enhanced relationships between celebrations– Preserving or enhancing relationships is especially crucial in family cases where the parties might have ongoing transactions with each other or with children or other relative.
  • Decreased stress and interruptions to ongoing activities.
  • Enhanced skills and relationships– Mediation helps celebrations in future negotiations and conflict resolution.


There are a number of methods to get to mediation.

  1. Usually, one celebration decides it would be handy to solve the dispute through mediation and recommends mediation to the other party.
  2. In pending litigation, the court typically recommends or even orders that the parties think about mediation. In either case, a call will get the procedure moving. A personnel individual will offer information about the mediation procedure and will answer any concerns the parties or their attorneys may have.


When the parties have agreed to moderate, The National Family Mediation Service deals with the celebrations or their counsel to figure out which of its mediators would be finest fit to serve. The staff individual handling the case may recommend one or more conciliators based on the concerns or profile of the case, although the celebrations or counsel might ask for a particular mediator.

The fundamental function of a mediator is not to render a decision but to assist in a negotiation and assist the parties in clarifying their issues and fixing them. If the parties choose, an extra function of a mediator might be to examine the problems in conflict.

  • Neutrality
  • Stability
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Experience
  • Training
  • Subject know-how, if the celebrations desire evaluation of the concerns
  • Availability


Prior to the mediation happens, a staff individual will speak with the parties or their attorneys to make sure that the case is proper for mediation, and to discuss who will be present, the format of mediation, and costs. The mediator will conduct a conference call with the celebrations and/or their attorneys prior to the mediation.


At the mediation itself, celebrations can have their attorneys present or they can pick to do so themselves. Attorneys have an important role to play in guaranteeing that celebrations have a clear understanding of their legal rights and commitments as they go through the mediation process. Mediators are not allowed to provide legal suggestions and are fairly and statutorily bound to make it clear to the celebrations who choose to moderate that they should depend on legal guidance. The mediated arrangement that parties reach is only as strong as the info on which it is based, and it is critical that celebrations be well notified and plainly recommended about the ramifications of the choices they are making.


The mediator first explains the process to be utilized and develops the ground rules. All those in attendance indication a mediation agreement which, to name a few things, binds them to strict confidentiality.

One party presents his or her view of the dispute. This presentation is informal and can be done by the attorney and/or the customer. Cross-examination is not used, nor are any guidelines of proof or treatment utilized. 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 issues on the table.

With the aid of the mediator, the celebrations and their counsel then initiate settlements. The mediator helps the parties concentrate on identifying the real issues and resolving them.

While the legal aspects of the family conflict are definitely relevant in the negotiation, possible options may include extra-legal concerns. These non-legal matters are typically at the heart of the dispute, yet they may not be effectively addressed in a courtroom.

The settlements continue up until effectively finished or until the parties choose that they are not able to reach a resolution. The analytical might occur in personal private sessions (” caucuses”) in between each party and the mediator, with counsel, and might likewise occur over more than one session.

Depending on the needs of the parties, family mediations may either be scheduled to be finished in one day or in two- to three-hour sessions. Frequently, it is decided in the preliminary session that additional info requires to be collected or that the celebrations need time beyond the mediation to finish particular jobs or to look for other possible services to a particular concern. In that case, the participants merely arrange a subsequent session to give them time to gather the necessary information.

Child between parents happy

A settlement agreement is decreased to writing when the parties reach arrangement. If questions are raised throughout the legal evaluation, the celebrations can agree to return to mediation to talk about the concerns and finalize the agreement, if necessary.

Such examination is provided only where (1) the parties request it; (2) the mediator thinks that the asked for evaluation is appropriate and necessary; (3) the mediator is certified to give such evaluation; (4) there is enough details on which to base such assessment; and (5) such examination is offered in reasonably broad and certified terms. As the mediation proceeds, the needs of the celebrations may change, and the nature of the services provided might similarly alter, as the parties might request.

The National Family Mediation Service do not give other or legal professional suggestions. They do not predict specific results to legal conflicts. While they may suggest possible options by which to resolve a disagreement, they do not recommend any specific option since the ultimate choice is made by the parties.

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

  • A sensible view of the problems in the dispute.
  • A clear understanding of his or her needs and objectives.
  • An initial presentation of his or her perspective.
  • A willingness to jeopardize.

In addition, they need to be prepared to:

  • Listen
  • Evaluate
  • Check out choices to be considered in the general session and in caucuses.
  • Explore and evaluate various settlement circumstances.
  • Find methods to help the other party to be flexible on vital issues.
  • Check out a resolution
  • Decide

The crucial to that outcome is that the choice maker in mediation is not a judge, the lawyers, or the mediator– the decision makers are the parties, with the guidance and assistance of counsel. Thus, the most efficient approach to mediation is likely to be based on a desire to reach a great resolution and end the dispute, rather than the combative design that might have characterized earlier interactions between the parties and their counsel.

Normally, the interaction happening within the mediation process is personal. This motivates a full exchange of facts, views and feelings.

Before the mediation occurs, a staff person will speak with the parties or their lawyers to make sure that the case is suitable for mediation, and to discuss who will be present, the format of mediation, and expenses. The mediator will perform a conference call with the parties and/or their lawyers prior to the mediation. The mediated arrangement that parties reach is just as strong as the info on which it is based, and it is crucial that parties be well notified and clearly encouraged about the implications of the choices they are making.

As the mediation proceeds, the requirements of the celebrations might alter, and the nature of the services supplied may similarly alter, as the parties may ask for.

The crucial to that result is that the decision maker in mediation is not a judge, the lawyers, or the mediator– the choice makers are the parties, with the guidance and help of counsel.

National Family Mediation Service Videos
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.

Related Articles
National Family Mediation Service Offers
From Around the Web