What is a Family Mediator?
Family mediation is an alternative way to settle family disputes. The general idea is to settle serious family problems without having to go to the courts about it. It is also a more affordable way to handle things as there are no drawn out court cases. Also it is more private and any “dirty laundry” will not be aired publicly.
How it works is that typical, the disputing parties, in this case family members, meet in a neutral location and with a neutral third party who can facilitate things and ensure that discussion doesn’t degenerate into fighting and arguing. If the issue is particularly sensitive lawyers may be present and/or the disputant may be in separate areas and the mediator will conduct “shuttle diplomacy”, moving back and forth between the parties as the discussion advances. In other circumstances the mediation can be conducted remotely, for example over a telephone.
The process itself takes place in 4 phases or so. The first phase is used to handle all the administrative tasks such as meeting the mediator, laying ground rules and signing any necessary paperwork. In the second phase, is used to define and begin to discuss the issues. It can also be used to hash out what facts and figures need to be determined. In the third phase, the actual discussion takes places and the mediator works with the parties to come up with reasonable solutions. It is also at this time that a particularly good mediator will identify issues that the parties had not noticed before but could come up in the future and ruin things. The fourth phase is the wrapping up phrase. The solutions are summarized and all the necessary documents are drafted and signed to make the solutions fair, effective and enforceable.
Everyone hits rough patches in their lives and these rough patches can get particularly messy when family members are involved. Due to the close ties and the emotions involved, it can be very difficult for family members to settle their most difficult of disputes on their own. It is then that a family mediator can make all the difference. By being experienced, patient and more importantly, a third part what has no emotional stake in any particular outcome so long as it is agreed on by all parities, they can ensure that the dispute is finally settled without having to resort to going to the courts.
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