Family Mediation is less formal than going to court. However, the dispute resolution process does entail discrete stages that lead to a mutually agreeable settlement. Here’s what you can anticipate.
The Role of the Mediator in Family Mediation
The mediator advises and aids the parties in reaching their resolution. The mediator does not decide the conclusion but rather assists the parties in understanding and focusing on the critical problems to achieving an agreement.
Perhaps the mediator’s responsibility is to assist the parties in developing a mutually acceptable settlement in family mediation. In most mediation, the parties will be in different rooms. The mediator will spend time moving back and forth between these rooms, communicating with the parties, and delivering the other parties’ proposals.
The Stages of Family Mediation
Going through the steps of trial or negotiations creates a win-win situation for both parties, and both individuals benefit from mediation. Now you comprehend why individuals submit disputes, and it may be significant to learn more about the steps that family mediation should go through.
Stage 1: Opening Statement
After the mediator has established the session’s rules and objectives, each side will have the chance to give an opening statement. In this statement, you can describe what the argument is about and how it has affected you in your own words. We also ask you to provide some broad suggestions for settling the conflict. Hence, the other should not interrupt when one person is speaking.
Stage 2: Discussion
At this stage in the mediation process, the mediator conducts a discussion session on each topic. He gives each participant enough time to mention their views and ideas and what they feel is the best solution. Active listening is recommended to ensure that the individual who is not speaking understands the arguments made by the other side. Everyone should look at the problem from a different angle to spark innovative ideas that meet the needs of both sides.
Stage 3: The Private Session
The private session allows each side to communicate with the mediator individually. The mediator will move between the two rooms to outline the advantages and disadvantages of each stance and swap offers. During the allotted period, the mediator will continue the dialogue as needed. These intimate encounters are the heart of mediation.
Stage 4: Negotiation
The objective is to present all the ideas and agree on which one could work. However, do not begin this step until each individual is ready to reach an agreement. If you do this too soon, you may lose everything at this point. When the parties have reached an agreement, the mediator may draft a document that each party must sign. These documents show that both parties currently agree with the terms as written.
Stage 5: Completion
There are two possible endings to a mediation session: first, meeting again for another mediation session; second, taking the dispute to arbitration or going to court. However, if an agreement got finalized, the last stage is to put the solutions in written form. In most cases, a judge should approve the mediated agreement to become official to complete family mediation.