Talking to Clients About Mediation PDF Print

Family professionals should consider talking to their clients about using mediation to resolve family conflicts as early in the process as possible.

For mental health professionals, this may mean introducing mediation at a point in therapy where one or both of the parties makes a decision to end the marriage.  Introducing mediation can be a way to make a smooth and peaceful transition during a difficult emotional time. Once connected with a mediator, the parties will be encouraged to assemble a team of professionals who will assist them with making their way through the divorce process. This usually means finding attorneys for each person who are supportive of the mediation process, will provide information to each person on their respective rights and responsibilities, and will either attend mediation if needed or be available during mediation to answer questions. The mediator can also be a gateway to other professionals who can help either or both of the parties. A neutral financial professional can inform the mediation by running different options for settlement through financial planning software. Or, one or both of the parties may want to engage a financial professional to help model their own situation. Another type of professional is a Divorce Coach. An increasing number of mental health professionals are trained to perform this function, which is complimentary to existing therapeutic relationships instead of a substitute for them. A Divorce Coach is trained specifically to help during the settlement process. 


For family attorneys, presenting mediation as an option at the very beginning of the case can focus clients on thinking of solutions that they may be able to reach with the opposing party, which may in turn help families to move through the divorce process with as little conflict as possible, thereby avoiding the significant risks that high conflict divorce poses to children. There is no reason to believe that a client who agrees to participate in mediation or other peaceful conflict resolution processes is showing "weakness" or willingness to give in. Quite the contrary, a client who has never had a forum to explain what is important to them and why can have such a forum in mediation. The mediator can help to move people from very  specific "positions" to expressing their underlying interests and finding creative solutions.   


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Family Mediation Council brochure

In the past FMC had printed out mediation brochures and sold them to our membership for distribution. Recently we decided to do an updated brochure in pdf format and disseminate to our membership so that our individual members could print it out on their color printers and distribute it to the various courts, organizations and clients of their choosing.
- Wally Winters, Current Chair

About Mediation

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process used to help people reach agreements. In this process, a neutral, trained mediator works with people to discuss all of the issues related to their family conflict, to explore possible options for settlement, and to identify solutions that best meet the needs of each person involved.

When can Mediation be done?

Mediation can take place at any stage in a situation, and we believe that the earlier it is considered, the better. For...

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Attention All Prospective FMC Members: 

If you join by paying 2017 dues, you will be entitled to attend both our spring program on May 15, 2017 and our fall program on October 13, 2017 absolutely free of charge.  Don't miss this opportunity to obtain 6 hours total of advanced mediation training free!

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