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Why Facilitative Mediation Makes Good Sense for Resolving Family Disputes

Posted by attorney Rina Goodman

There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “ If we don’t change the direction we are going, we are likely to end up where we are heading."

Collaborative, not adversarial

Facilitative mediation is a collaborative process that promotes healthy interactions between the parties. Working cooperatively, mediation participants find common ground for creating mutually beneficial agreements.

Empowers all parties

You − not the mediator, judge or arbitrator − determine the outcome.

Reduces hostility and tension

Mediation reduces the hostility, tension and misunderstandings that are ordinarily experienced when people are engaged in conflict.

Promotes communication

Parties learn how to communicate with each other about difficult, sensitive issues in a non-threatening and non-accusatory manner. Their improved communication skills set a pattern for future interactions and problem solving.

Protects privacy

Mediation sessions are held in a private office or conference room. There is no public docket, so no one else need learn about your personal issues. Also, Washington law protects the confidentiality of communications made by parties in mediation and prohibits use of these communications in subsequent formal proceedings such as arbitration or trial.

Flexible and creative

Working together, mediation participants craft creative solutions that address the particular nuances of their conflict. These solutions are much more satisfying than 50-50 compromises or court-imposed remedies.

Parties set their own pace

Parties can arrange their mediation sessions according to personal scheduling needs and emotional and logistical requirements for pacing and time frame.

Preserves and mends relationships

When the relationship between the parties will be continuing, mediation reduces the likelihood of estrangement and may even help parties move beyond the conflict and reestablish their relationships with greater understanding and empathy.

Provides framework for future problem solving

Parties are able to create agreements with enough structure for predictability and enough flexibility to adapt to change. Their agreements can even address how they intend to deal with future problems.

More affordable and time-saving

When compared to traditional litigation and other adversarial processes, family mediation will help you save time and money. Resolutions can be achieved within hours or weeks, rather than months or years. There are far fewer expenses and many of them can be shared.

Produces more satisfying and endurable outcomes

Research shows that the majority of people who mediate rather than go to court are satisfied with the process as well as the outcomes. Mediated agreements have a higher rate of compliance than litigated settlements and court orders.

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