The benefits of facilitative mediation in family mediation - Marcia Mediation

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Family mediation typically has a common goal: to work through disputes and allow agreement on a solution that is satisfactory to all participating parties.

The obvious example of this is agreeing on a divorce settlement and child residential arrangements, without going to court or taking a direct conflict path.

Other examples can include surrogacy mediation, mediation for unmarried couples (where there can be fewer protections given by law) and non-family cases like workplace mediation to resolve business disputes.

Experienced mediators have a variety of ways to make progress, using a gentle touch to steer participants towards a mutually agreeable outcome.

Facilitative mediation is one such technique, and is commonly listed as one of the three types of family mediation.

What are the types of family mediation?

Although your mediator will choose the most appropriate method of family mediation for your dispute, it’s useful to know the main options that are open to you.

The three types of family mediation are:

  • Evaluative Mediation: The mediator listens to the evidence and opinions, and makes specific suggestions on how to move forwards quickly in difficult cases.
  • Transformative Mediation: The mediator makes time and space for emotions to be expressed in full, especially in deeply personal or distressing situations.
  • Facilitative Mediation: The mediator facilitates discussions between the parties, while leaving the final decision-making to the participants.

Facilitative mediation is often seen as the ‘in-between’ approach and may incorporate techniques seen in both evaluative and transformative mediation.

Remember that these are broad ‘styles’ of mediation. Specific techniques like shuttle mediation, where the mediator passes messages between participants in separate rooms, may be used within those styles – they’re not mutually exclusive.

Why is facilitative mediation better?

Facilitative mediation is the go-to choice for many family mediators, especially at the start of a new case.

It’s a Goldilocks option, combining the best techniques from transformative and evaluative mediation into a middle ground that can be adjusted as you go along.

For example, early mediation sessions might be more evaluative, based on the facts of what has led to the dispute and what the affected parties would like to achieve.

This can then lead to more transformative mediation sessions. allowing participants to express themselves and potentially involving children, grandparents and other family members, surrogates or carers – anyone who is going to be involved going forwards.

Crucially, while the mediator may make suggestions based on their experience, facilitative mediation is about letting the participants decide the outcome, and this can lead to a better chance of long-term happiness for all concerned.

Facilitating dignity

At Marcia Mediation we believe strongly that you should be able to Divorce With Dignity, and facilitative mediation helps us to deliver just that, with an amicably agreed divorce that you can take to the courts to get rubber-stamped.

By putting your priorities first – whether in divorce or any other family mediation dispute – facilitative mediation gives you agency over the outcome, allowing all participants to take back the feeling of control that you may have lost.

To find out more or to make an enquiry about a family dispute you are facing, contact us in total confidence today and we will help you to proceed.

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