We are a professional all issues family mediation service dedicated to assisting separating couples exercise future plans for children, residential or commercial property and finances for Legal and personal Aid clients. We assess for Legal Help– evaluation complimentary. Inquire about free conferences for private customers.

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 help you enhance interaction, resolve your disputes and reach a workable, long-lasting solution quickly, compassionately and cost-effectively.

Our excellent group of family mediators are trained to direct you through the process to decrease the distress, cost and hold-up so often associated with separation and divorce.

family Mediation Process

The Basics of Family Mediation


Mediation is a voluntary, consensual process that uses an experienced, neutral third party to help with the settlement of conflicts. The objective is to reach a binding settlement agreement.


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


Using mediation is increasing considerably throughout the nation. The advantages of mediation are acknowledged to be numerous and considerable.

  • Control by celebrations– The parties remain in charge of the result.
  • Opportunity for much better outcomes– The celebrations understand their disagreement better than any court or jury could.
  • Effective– Roughly 85% of cases managed by The National Family Mediation Service reach settlement.
  • Greater compliance– Celebrations are more likely to comply with a mediated outcome than with an arbitration or a judgment 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 remain in control. The outcome is determined by the parties.
  • Preserved, improved relationships between celebrations– Maintaining or enhancing relationships is specifically essential in family cases where the parties may have ongoing transactions with each other or with children or other family members.
  • Decreased tension and disturbances to continuous activities.
  • Enhanced abilities and relationships– Mediation assists celebrations in future negotiations and conflict resolution.


There are numerous methods to get to mediation.

  1. Frequently, one celebration decides it would be handy to resolve the disagreement through mediation and suggests mediation to the other celebration.
  2. In pending litigation, the court frequently suggests or even orders that the celebrations consider mediation. In either case, a call will get the procedure moving. A personnel person will offer info about the mediation procedure and will respond to any concerns the celebrations or their attorneys may have.


When the celebrations have actually agreed to mediate, The National Family Mediation Service works with the celebrations or their counsel to figure out which of its arbitrators would be best fit to serve. The staff individual dealing with the case may suggest one or more arbitrators based on the concerns or profile of the case, although the celebrations or counsel might request a particular mediator also.

The fundamental role of a mediator is not to render a choice however to facilitate a settlement and help the parties in clarifying their concerns and fixing them. An additional function of a mediator may be to evaluate the problems in disagreement if the parties choose. These functions should be thought about in choosing a mediator. Other factors to be considered include the individual attributes of the mediator:

  • Neutrality
  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Experience
  • Training
  • Subject matter proficiency, if the parties prefer evaluation of the problems
  • Accessibility


Before the mediation happens, a staff individual will talk with the parties 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 conduct a conference call with the parties and/or their attorneys prior to the mediation. This call is an opportunity to ask extra questions and to share any details that might be valuable in moving the procedure forward. If the mediator needs any composed information prior to the mediation, it would be talked about during this call.


Lawyers have a vital function to play in making sure that celebrations have a clear understanding of their legal rights and commitments as they go through the mediation procedure. The mediated contract that parties reach is only as strong as the info on which it is based, and it is important that parties be well informed and plainly encouraged about the implications of the choices they are making.


The mediator first discusses the process to be utilized and develops the guideline. All those in attendance sign a mediation contract which, to name a few things, binds them to strict confidentiality.

One party presents his or her view of the disagreement. The other celebration is then provided a chance to present his or her view of the case.

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

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

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

Depending upon the requirements of the celebrations, family mediations might either be set up to be completed in one day or in 2- to three-hour sessions. Often, 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 certain tasks or to try to find other possible services to a specific issue. Because case, the individuals just arrange a subsequent session to provide time to gather the needed information.

Child between parents happy

A settlement arrangement is lowered to writing when the celebrations reach contract. If questions are raised during the legal evaluation, the parties can concur to return to mediation to talk about the problems and finalize the agreement, if essential.

Such assessment is provided only where (1) the celebrations request it; (2) the mediator believes that the asked for examination is suitable and needed; (3) the mediator is qualified to give such assessment; (4) there is adequate info on which to base such assessment; and (5) such assessment is supplied in qualified and fairly broad terms. As the mediation proceeds, the requirements of the parties may alter, and the nature of the services supplied may similarly change, as the celebrations might ask for.

The National Family Mediation Service do not give other or legal professional recommendations. They do not forecast specific results to legal disputes. While they might recommend possible options by which to fix a conflict, they do not advise any specific option given that the ultimate choice is made by the celebrations.

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

  • A reasonable view of the issues in the disagreement.
  • A clear understanding of his/her goals and requirements.
  • An initial discussion of his/her perspective.
  • A willingness to compromise.

In addition, they must be prepared to:

  • Listen
  • Assess
  • Explore choices to be considered in the general session and in caucuses.
  • Explore and examine various settlement scenarios.
  • Discover ways to help the other celebration to be flexible on important concerns.
  • Check out a resolution
  • Decide

The crucial to that outcome is that the decision maker in mediation is not a judge, the attorneys, or the mediator– the choice makers are the celebrations, with the advice and support of counsel. Thus, the most reliable technique to mediation is likely to be based on a desire to reach an excellent resolution and end the disagreement, rather than the combative style that may have characterized previously interactions between the celebrations and their counsel.

Normally, the interaction occurring within the mediation process is confidential. This encourages a full exchange of views, truths and sensations.

Before the mediation takes place, a staff individual will speak with the celebrations or their lawyers to make sure that the case is proper 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 contract that parties reach is only as strong as the details on which it is based, and it is vital that parties be well informed and clearly advised about the ramifications of the decisions they are making.

As the mediation earnings, the requirements of the celebrations may alter, and the nature of the services provided may similarly alter, as the parties may ask for.

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 suggestions 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