What is mediation ?
Mediation is probably the oldest and most natural way to solve conflicts. Within Europe, professional mediation can be defined in various ways. There are, however, a few characteristics that all mediators throughout Europe acknowledge. First of all, the mediator is an impartial and independent third party. It is the task of the mediator or mediators to help the parties in conflict find a solution for their conflict. The process of mediation is confidential. The parties enter the mediation process on a voluntary basis. Finally, the mediator must ensure that all parties are well-informed when reaching a decision.
What is international family mediation?
When family mediators deal with an international or cross-border family conflict they need to have special skills and knowledge. Laws vary between countries, judicial system works differently or countries may have differing ways or procedures for dealing with certain administrative or other issues. In many cases there are several languages involved, , great distances must be overcome and there is a high level of mistrust and anxiety between the parties.
Therefore it is advisable that if your family conflict has a cross-border dimension and you wish to find a solution through mediation, you involve a mediator specialized in dealing with cross-border cases.
For which cases can I use international family mediation?
A wide range of conflicts can be solved by mediation or: Mediation offers a viable solution for many types of conflicts. The only condition is that all parties voluntary choose to use mediation as a conflict resolution method.
If your family conflict involves an international element you can choose a cross-border family mediator. It may be that the parents have different nationalities but or that they want to live in different countries.
In such cases international family mediation can help you find a creative solution that deals with problems that do not arise in national family conflicts. Practical solutions can be found for issues of distance when visitation rights must be organized or for children learning different languages. Mediation can be helpful in case a safe return must be organized when children are traveling from one parent to another.
What are the competencies of a mediator in this Network?
The experienced mediators that are members of this network have all received extensive additional training in international family mediation. This training is based on the TIM- mediation model. The training included theoretical and practical aspects of international private law, the 1980 Hague Convention and Brussels II bis Regulation, cultural context of families, characteristics of bi-national families, effects of parental child abduction on children and mediation models and methodology. The mediation training also involved technical aspects related to co-mediation, online mediation, cooperation with interpreters, courts, central authorities, etc. Much attention was given to small group exercises and role play. Therefore, this Network can guarantee high-quality trained mediators that are experienced in cooperating in concrete cases. Furthermore, the Network ensures supervision and ongoing training of its members on a bi-annual basis.
How much will it cost?
Mediation in general is not free of charge. A professional mediator will ask a fee for the mediation and will also charge for expenses such as travel and accommodation when necessary. The mediator is free to decide on this fee and there can be considerable differences in prices between EU countries.
In general, the cost of a mediator is divided equally between the conflicting parties. However, parties are free to agree on another division if they wish. In any case, the mediation fees and the modalities of payment should be clear to the parties before the mediation begins.
In some countries, mediation is also covered (partially) by the legal aid system for those who cannot afford to pay the fees. Some legal aid insurance policies also cover the cost of a mediation. It might be useful to consult your insurance company.