Family mediation is a non-legal dispute resolution process in which a neutral person, called a mediator, helps families talk about their problems and find solutions that work for them. Family mediators can help couples or parents resolve disputes related to divorce, separation, custody, child support, alimony, property division and elder care. The mediator can be an attorney or a mental health practitioner with training in negotiation and conflict resolution.
During a family mediation session, participants sit down together with the mediator and discuss their issues. They can be together or separately, and their lawyers may attend as well. If they are able to reach an agreement, the mediator will write it up and both parties sign it. If they cannot agree, the mediator will not write up an agreement and their case will proceed to court.
Some family mediators specialize in helping a particular type of case. They can also be trained to deal with specific types of families and situations, such as those where the parents have been married before or where one parent is an older adult or has special needs.
While the focus of Family mediation is to find solutions, it can also help improve relationships. It is not unusual for a family that enters a session embroiled in extreme tension to end the session with a sense of safety and hope for positive future interactions. Similarly, it is not uncommon for children to go through mediation with a more cooperative attitude toward their parents, which can lead to better co-parenting and reduce hostility and competition in the home. https://derbyshire.lakesmediation.co.uk/