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Are all mediation approaches the same?

Mediation is becoming an increasingly common way to resolve family law matters, from property division to child custody. This approach allows parties to reach mutually agreeable resolutions together and avoid the demands of litigation.

However, there is more to the mediation process than people might realize. For instance, not all mediators have the same style.  We explore three types of mediatiors in this post.

Facilitative mediation

This approach to mediation is what people typically think of when they think of mediation. It involves a neutral mediator whose primary task is to facilitate the process by helping parties reach their own decisions together. This party typically does not give any opinions or make any statements about how he or she feels about the dispute.

Evaluative mediation

In this approach, the mediator plays a more active role in making suggestions and giving their opinions. Mediators might give advice, explain whether an argument has legal merit and discuss what is or is not fair, which is why evaluative mediators will typically be attorneys.

Transformative mediation

This type of mediator takes their cues from the traditional or facilitative form of mediation where the mediator's role is to help parties reach their own decisions. However, this is a more ambitious approach, and ideally it helps parties grow and improve their relationship with each other.

Finding the right approach for you

If you are not sure whether mediation is right for your matter, you should review the above mediation styles. Your attorney can also help you select a mediator that best fits your family.

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