Family mediation is a non-confrontational alternative to court that provides a safe, supportive place to discuss problems and find solutions that are best for everyone. It is particularly helpful in cases involving children. The process is usually quicker, less expensive and more private than going to court.
In family mediation, the mediator listens to all sides of a disagreement and helps participants understand the reasons for their differences. She also encourages participation and teaches interpersonal communication skills to participants, so they can resolve conflict on their own in the future. She will help the participants reach a solution to their problem and assist them in documenting that agreement in a written contract.
While litigation is often adversarial and confrontational, the goal of family mediation is to create a cooperative environment for families in which all parties can reach a mutually agreeable settlement that can be submitted to a judge as a court order. Whether you need to work out child related issues or financial settlements, the family mediator can help you get there without the stress and expense of going to court.
Many family mediators are listed on the FMC Register, a professional register of family mediators that is maintained by the Family Mediation Council (FMC). You can use this list to find a mediator in your area by entering your address or the name of a mediator into the search box. It is important to find a mediator who will not represent either side of the dispute.