Family Mediation FAQ
What is Family Mediation?
Mediation is a way to resolve disputes. It helps finding joint decisions.
In the family arena, it is called family mediation. The most common situation is following a separation of divorce, to reach agreements in issues related to children, but there are other situations that benefit from mediation.
What type of situations can be resolved through mediation?
➢Disagreements between parents about how to raise their children, living arrangements, financial issues etc. following a divorce/separation process
➢Disagreements between already divorced parents about changes they wish to implement (change of school, change of extracurricular activities, communication problems, etc.)
➢Disagreements between parents and children
➢Disagreements between adult siblings about the care of their elderly parents or a sibling with disabilities
➢Contact between grandparents and their children
➢Disputes between family members in family business
➢Communication problems between family members
Is Mediation the same as arbitration?
No, in arbitration, you present a dispute to a third person who issues a decision that is legally binding. In mediation, participants maintain control over the results. Put simply, mediation would be an assisted negotiation.
What are the benefits of family mediation compared to Court litigation?
➢It reduces the financial and emotional cost.
➢It reaches a resolution faster.
➢Mediated agreements have a consistently higher compliance rate because both have created their own agreement.
➢You move from a winner vs. looser situation to an everyone wins situation.
At what point of the dispute may I go to mediation?
Mediation can be beneficial at the beginning of a dispute or at different times, even if a legal process has begun.
The more judicialized the case, more negative consequences to surpass, but the relief will be greater after reaching the agreements.
In some countries, as a rule all couples who undergo a divorce go to mediation.
Who are the mediators?
Mediators are qualified professionals from different disciplines such as Psychology, Law, Education, or Social Work, who are trained in mediation and follow a code of practice.
In Catalunya, the Justice Department of the Generalitat de Catalunya, enables family mediators that meet the requirements for the practice of family mediation and intrajudicial family mediation, for the cases already involved in litigation.
Can I consult with a lawyer or psychologist during the mediation?
Mediation does not replace the services of a lawyer or psychologist. Participants are encouraged to obtain legal advice. Participants can consult a lawyer or psychologist before, during and after mediation.
Mediators do not give legal advice nor do therapy.
Are mediation agreements legally binding?
The participants’ solutions o intentions’ statements reached through mediation are written as agreements. Current Spanish legislation has not conferred any special status to the family mediation agreements. Therefore, to be legally binding, it must be approved legally. To do so, your lawyer should include these agreements in the divorce settlement so that there is evidence of mutual agreement. It becomes a legally binding document once transferred to the court.
How much does mediation cost?
Mediation is charged per session. The duration of the session is about an hour-hour and a half.
Unless otherwise agreed in the first session, the bill will be shared by the participants in equal parts.
What ‘principles govern the mediation?
➢Empowerment: We seek to empower people involved in the process to make the decision that affect their lives and those of their children.
➢Voluntariness: Each participant has the right to choose to participate in mediation.
➢Confidentiality: Everything that is spoken in the sessions and the documents used are protected by confidentiality laws. Lawyers or participants cannot use the session material in Court.
Cases refered by theCentre de Mediació de Dret Privat de Catalunya, the documents signed by the participants will be archived in the center.
➢Neutrality: The mediators “will not favor” of one or another participant.
What happens in mediation sessions?
In the first session, the mediator describes the process of mediation and ensures that both present their proposals for topics to mediate. Decisions are made regarding what information needs to be gathered and shared in future visits. In the initial or other sessions, referrals can be made to experts (appraisers, accountants, psychologists, lawyers…)
In subsequent visits, the process can vary from family to family. In general, for each issue requiring mediation, we will follow several steps facilitated by the family mediator: each participant expresses his/her point of view, development of options, joint negotiation and reaching agreements.