Family Co-Mediation Dispute Resolution
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What is Mediation?
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Team approach to mediation and dispute resolution
What is Mediation?

Mediation is a form of dispute resolution in which a neutral third party helps individuals reach a voluntary agreement through "principled negotiation".

Negotiation is a basic means of getting what you want from others. "Principled negotiation" provides that:

  • The parties communicate directly and honestly about each of their respective goals and interests, rather than their positions.

  • Each party speaks for his or herself in a manner that is not disrespectful of the other.

  • The parties participate and negotiate in a way that represents their "best selves".

Mediation also has other specific features.

 

Mediation is:
  • Voluntary — participation is freely chosen and can be terminated at any time by any participant.

  • Self-determined — decision-making authority always rests with the individuals.

  • Impartially led — mediators are neutral in facilitating conversation; any mediators' prior personal or professional relationship with either party must be specifically disclosed and accepted.

  • Confidential — information related to the content and process of mediation is kept confidential, except as required by law.

  • Based on Informed Consent – both parties understand the nature of the process and the implications of their decisions.

 

What do Mediators Do?

The mediator serves as:

  • Facilitator — keeping mediation on track and breaking stalemates.

  • Educator — providing information about conflict areas such as divorce and their impact on families, normal child development, family dynamics and family relationships.

  • Message carrier — sometimes serving as a "go-between".

  • Idea generator — offering creative options and brainstorming.

  • Translator — clarifying words and meanings to facilitate better understanding.

  • Agent of reality — helping to assess the workability of options.

  • Scribe — taking notes and writing down agreements.