The family mediation process: how does it work?

Mediation is the process by which arrangement is made regarding various matters such as property, child custody, finance etc between disputing parties on the basis of mutual discussion. The process of mediation generally involves the following steps:-

1. Introductory remarks or statements- Both the parties have to be present before the mediator. The mediator will then introduce one to the other. The environment would be controlled in such a manner that no one feels threatened. The children will be asked to sit outside. The mediation begins by an opening or an introductory statement. This goes on to show that the mediator is going to work on neutral grounds. The mediator will then set out the regulations under which the process is going to continue. The mediator will quickly sum up the whole issue. St Albans family mediation service

The introductory statement will set out the bottom line for mediation. These bottom lines set down the backdrop for mediation. The mediator will commonly ask if they want attorneys to be present, but the clients should present their own view.

2. Statement of problem –After the introductory statement, the mediator will give each side the chance to present their side of the story. The person who appealed for the mediation process will be allowed to go first. The statement presented will not be revision of the facts; it is simply given to the mediator so that he knows about the frame of mind of the disputing parties. The logic behind this process is to investigate the problem and find a solution.

3. Information gathering time- The mediator will ask the parties involved back to back questions to get to the roots of the problem. The mediator will make briefings about the whole process to the parties from time to time so that a rapport is built up between the parties.

4. Identification of the problem- The mediator need to find out that which aspect of the problem requires priority and needs to be solved first. The mediator needs to find the common objectives between the parties in order to settle the dispute.

5. Reaching an agreement- There are many ways of reaching an agreement. Methods may include group discussion, developing hypothetical solutions, or proposals made by the mediator. The most popular method however is caucus.

The mediator holds private discussion with both the parties. These private sessions are known as the caucus sessions and are kept private.

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