Mediation is a very effective, collaborative mode, to work with families to resolve their issues, in many cases after a divorce is final. The process emphasizes the needs of the child, family empowerment, and cooperation between families and stepfamilies. Mediation can also be used to resolve specific issues for couples who have otherwise chosen the litigation alternative to obtain a divorce. Divorce mediation forms part of the family mediation tree of services.
Modern day family mediation is divided into two main fields namely mediation and comediation. In the former of the two fields a single mediator works with the family in dispute. In the latter of the two fields, two or more mediators work with a family in dispute.
Mediations are completed by the use of either joint or single caucuses. In single caucuses the mediator/s caucus one party at a time. In joint caucuses the mediator/s work with all sides to the dispute present in the same session. The majority of family disputes have two sides however in family disputes between siblings it is not uncommon for several parties to be involved.
Mediators are trained to help parties negotiate in good faith, and have some flexibility in how the matter is resolved. Each party should be willing to listen with an open mind to the other side, and to share his or her own point of view
The family mediation process
Family mediation is based on the same principles that apply in mediation: transparency, mutual respect and voluntariness
Family mediation is progressive and non-confrontational in nature. It encourages parties to focus on the future and problem solving strategies rather than the problems of the past. The process is also “child centered” whereby the parties are encouraged to make special provision for the needs of children where the subject parties of such mediations have childcare related issues.