Family Mediation is made up of three (3) stages; Commitment, Negotiation and Settlement. In the commitment stage the mediator will meet with each individual separately to obtain the issues that need to be addressed. Also during the individual sessions the mediator will explain the mediation process, set guidelines and define the individual roles and responsibilities.
Two questions should always be asked:
- What issues or problems do you want resolved?
- Why are these issues so important?
In the negotiation stage the mediator will meet with both parties. The mediator will encourage the parties to share their perspectives on the issues, identify interest and generate options in regards to the issues.
In the settlement stage the mediator will encourage the parties to evaluate options, choose solutions, test solutions, come to an agreement and decide to properly implement the agreement. The mediator will then write an agreement known as a Memorandum of Understanding so that both parties will have a copy of their agreement.