Family Mediation Standards
Overview and Definitions
Family and divorce mediation ("family mediation" or "mediation") is a process in which a mediator, an impartial third party, facilitates the resolution of family disputes by promoting the participants’ voluntary agreement. The family mediator assists communication, encourages understanding and focuses the participants on their individual and common interests. The family mediator works with the participants to explore options, make decisions and reach their own agreements.
Family mediation is not a substitute for the need for family members to obtain independent legal advice or counseling or therapy. Nor is it appropriate for all families. However, experience has established that family mediation is a valuable option for many families because it can:
- increase the self-determination of participants and their ability to communicate;
- promote the best interests of children; and
- reduce the economic and emotional costs associated with the resolution of family disputes.
Effective mediation requires that the family mediator be qualified by training, experience and temperament; that the mediator be impartial; that the participants reach their decisions voluntarily; that their decisions be based on sufficient factual data; that the mediator be aware of the impact of culture and diversity; and that the best interests of children be taken into account. Further, the mediator should also be prepared to identify families whose history includes domestic abuse or child abuse.
These Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation ("Model Standards") aim to perform three major functions:
- to serve as a guide for the conduct of family mediators;
- to inform the mediating participants of what they can expect; and
- to promote public confidence in mediation as a process for resolving family disputes.
The Model Standards are aspirational in character. They describe good practices for family mediators. They are not intended to create legal rules or standards of liability.
The Model Standards include different levels of guidance:
- Use of the term "may" in a Standard is the lowest strength of guidance and indicates a practice that the family mediator should consider adopting but which can be deviated from in the exercise of good professional Business Lawyer.
- Most of the Standards employ the term "should" which indicates that the practice described in the Standard is highly desirable and should be departed from only with very strong reason.
- The rarer use of the term "shall" in a Standard is a higher level of guidance to the family mediator, indicating that the mediator should not have discretion to depart from the practice described.
Our mediators at Conflict Free Resolutions have over thirty years handling family mediations of all types, including elder care cases. When the process works correctly, the high costs associated with litigation, attorneys, and experts are avoided.
Families can save hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars by utilizing mediators for elder care cases. Elder mediation can also assist in bringing families back together and in rebuilding relationships.
Our elder mediators are mediators who provide mediation services to those families that need assistance in resolving issues that arise among adult siblings and relatives who do not agree on the appropriate long-term care of their parents. The issues that could arise among siblings and relatives are numerous and also Commercial litigation attorney.