Mediation at Family Co-Mediation usually begins with a telephone conversation. We talk about your particular area of concern and determine the appropriateness of mediation as a dispute resolution process.
You might talk with one or more of us, but we will certainly talk to all parties involved in the conflict. That might mean two people involved in a separation or divorce, or it might mean several people involved in a family business, or a whole family dealing with estate planning or inheritance issues.
Family Co-Mediation will arrange a first meeting that all parties attend. We begin that meeting with a general discussion of mediation and how it can be used to help you resolve your dispute or particular conflict. If all are in agreement, we sign the Agreement to Mediate form and we continue. If at this point you choose not to continue, there will be no fee to you. Usually we set aside two hours for our initial meeting, but this is flexible, and can be longer or shorter, at your request.
Mediation continues in subsequent meetings until the parties involved have reached a satisfactory agreement. At your request, we will memorialize your agreement in a written Memorandum of Understanding.
During the course of the mediation at Family Co-Mediation, we are focused on three kinds of responsibilities:
Procedural – We keep track of the process and content of decision-making, the goals and objectives of the parties, and maintain notes that become the foundation of a written agreement.
Facilitative – We keep the process moving by opening channels of communication and keeping them open. We help you steer clear of conversation stoppers and help to maintain your focus on your interests and options.
Substantive – We can offer information, suggestions and brainstorming ideas, working with you to construct solutions based on your needs. Mediators do not give advice, therapy or counseling.
At Family Co-Mediation, our practice is one that is designed to enable clients to participate to their fullest extent. We give particular attention to what clients can do on their own to help make the process more efficient, more effective, and less costly.
It is unnecessary for parties to hire others to do what they are capable of doing with a little bit of our assistance.