National Family Mediation Service cut out the stress of fighting at court and save you the huge cost of lawyers fees. You can, together with our expert skilled conciliators solve the concerns together, even if you have actually had difficulties communicating with each other in the past.

family Mediation Process

The Fundamentals of Family Mediation


Mediation is a voluntary, consensual process that utilizes an experienced, neutral 3rd party to assist in the settlement of conflicts. The goal is to reach a binding settlement agreement.


” Generally … nearly any civil dispute is amenable to mediation.”
Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carrico, 3/27/95


Making use of mediation is increasing considerably across the nation. The advantages of mediation are acknowledged to be various and substantial.

  • Control by parties– The celebrations stay in charge of the outcome.
  • Chance for much better outcomes– The parties understand their conflict much better than any court or jury could.
  • Efficient– Approximately 85% of cases handled by The National Family Mediation Service reach settlement.
  • Greater compliance– Celebrations are most likely to comply with a mediated outcome than with a judgment or an arbitration award.
  • Reduced time and expense– 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 parties stay in control. The result is determined by the celebrations.
  • Protected, enhanced relationships in between celebrations– Maintaining or improving relationships is particularly important in family cases where the celebrations might have ongoing negotiations with each other or with children or other member of the family.
  • Reduced stress and disruptions to ongoing activities.
  • Enhanced relationships and abilities– Mediation helps parties in future settlements and dispute resolution.


There are a number of ways to get to mediation.

  1. Frequently, one party decides it would be helpful to resolve the dispute through mediation and recommends mediation to the other party.
  2. In pending litigation, the court frequently recommends or even orders that the celebrations consider mediation. In either case, a call will get the process moving. A personnel person will offer info about the mediation process and will answer any concerns the parties or their attorneys may have.


When the parties have accepted moderate, The National Family Mediation Service deals with the parties or their counsel to determine which of its conciliators would be finest fit to serve. The personnel person handling the case may recommend several mediators based upon the concerns or profile of the case, although the parties or counsel might ask for a specific mediator also.

The fundamental function of a mediator is not to render a decision but to help with a settlement and assist the celebrations in clarifying their problems and resolving them. An additional function of a mediator may be to examine the concerns in conflict if the parties select. These roles ought to be considered in picking a mediator. Other aspects to be thought about involve the individual characteristics of the mediator:

  • Neutrality
  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Experience
  • Training
  • Topic know-how, if the parties want examination of the problems
  • Schedule


Prior to the mediation takes place, a personnel 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 legal representatives prior to the mediation.


Lawyers have a vital role to play in ensuring that celebrations have a clear understanding of their legal rights and obligations as they go through the mediation process. The mediated agreement that parties reach is just as strong as the info on which it is based, and it is vital that parties be well notified and clearly advised about the implications of the choices they are making.


The mediator first discusses the procedure to be used and establishes the ground rules. All those in attendance indication a mediation arrangement which, among other things, binds them to strict privacy.

One celebration provides his/her view of the conflict. This presentation is casual and can be done by the client and/or the attorney. Cross-examination is not used, nor are any guidelines of proof or treatment made use of. The other celebration is then given a chance to provide his/her view of the case. This process continues as long as required to get the concerns on the table.

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

While the legal aspects of the family conflict are certainly appropriate in the settlement, possible services might involve extra-legal issues. These non-legal matters are typically at the heart of the dispute, yet they might not be adequately attended to in a courtroom.

The settlements continue up until successfully completed or until the parties decide that they are not able to reach a resolution. The analytical might take place in confidential private sessions (” caucuses”) in between each party and the mediator, with counsel, and might also take place over more than one session.

Depending upon the requirements of the celebrations, family mediations may either be scheduled to be completed in one day or in two- to three-hour sessions. Typically, it is decided in the initial session that additional info requires to be gathered or that the celebrations need time beyond the mediation to complete specific tasks or to look for other possible solutions to a particular concern. Because case, the individuals simply schedule a subsequent session to provide time to collect the necessary data.

Child between parents happy

A settlement arrangement is decreased to writing when the celebrations reach agreement. If questions are raised during the legal review, the celebrations can agree to return to mediation to go over the problems and finalize the arrangement, if required.

The basic style of The National Family Mediation Service is assistance. This involves the individual abilities of a mediator used to clarify interests, recognize issues, test the benefit of positions, and usually to help the parties in moving toward common ground. A mediator may provide legal information consisting of the neutral assessment of issues. Such evaluation is provided only where (1) the celebrations request it; (2) the mediator believes that the asked for assessment is required and suitable; (3) the mediator is qualified to offer such assessment; (4) there is sufficient info on which to base such evaluation; and (5) such evaluation is offered in fairly broad and qualified terms. As the mediation earnings, the needs of the celebrations may change, and the nature of the services supplied may likewise change, as the celebrations may request.

The National Family Mediation Service do not provide other or legal expert suggestions. They do not forecast specific results to legal conflicts. While they may recommend possible options by which to resolve a dispute, they do not advise any specific option because the ultimate choice is made by the celebrations.

The celebrations and their counsel are well served by suitable preparation, whether the attorney will be taking part in the actual mediation or not. Both the party and attorney should have:

  • A realistic view of the issues in the dispute.
  • A clear understanding of his/her goals and requirements.
  • A preliminary presentation of his or her viewpoint.
  • A willingness to compromise.

In addition, they must be prepared to:

  • Listen
  • Evaluate
  • Check out options to be considered in the general session and in caucuses.
  • Explore and assess different settlement scenarios.
  • Discover ways to help the other celebration to be versatile on critical concerns.
  • Explore a resolution
  • Decide

Succeeding ways getting to the best possible result with the most affordable possible expense– both psychological and monetary. The essential to that outcome is that the choice maker in mediation is not a judge, the attorneys, or the mediator– the decision makers are the celebrations, with the recommendations and help of counsel. Therefore, the most reliable technique to mediation is most likely to be based on a desire to reach a great resolution and end the conflict, rather than the combative design that may have characterized earlier interactions in between the celebrations and their counsel. Being open to the possibility of crafting an imaginative solution suggests that the result might be something that both parties can cope with more readily than if the outcome were imposed on them.

Usually, the interaction occurring within the mediation process is personal. This motivates a full exchange of realities, views and feelings.

Prior to the mediation occurs, a staff individual will speak with the celebrations or their legal representatives 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 conduct a conference call with the parties and/or their lawyers prior to the mediation. The mediated contract that parties reach is only as strong as the details on which it is based, and it is crucial that celebrations be well notified and clearly encouraged about the ramifications of the choices they are making.

As the mediation earnings, the needs of the parties might alter, and the nature of the services offered may likewise alter, as the celebrations might ask for.

The essential to that result is that the choice maker in mediation is not a judge, the attorneys, 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