Arguments & fights
over children

Crossing boundaries

Central Contact Point for Cross-border Family Conflicts

ZAnK - Zentrale Anlaufstelle für grenzüberschreitende Kindschaftskonflikte

Duration – the Mediation Procedure – the Costs

Duration

A mediation session usually lasts one or 1 ½ hours.

The number of sessions depends on the individual circumstances:

How serious is the conflict? Is it necessary first to create a basis for communication between the Parties, or does it already exist? Which issues have to be clarified? How long will it take until the Parties will find a solution? Realistically speaking, in most cases there will be 3-8 sessions.

The Mediation Procedure

The Stages of Mediation

Although these strictly formal distinctions may not be found in every mediation process, the basic elements can be found in almost any form of mediation.

1. Introduction

The mediator informs the Parties about the mediation procedure, and usually a mediation agreement is made and the further course of action is discussed.

2. Identification of the issues to be resolved

The Parties give all the relevant information. They present the issues they want to resolve and their requests. All the information is gathered and the issues of conflict are identified, weighted and structured. Most importantly, all the data and facts have to be revealed.

3. Working on the conflict

The third stage is aimed at working on the problem. Each Party is given the opportunity to tell their version of the conflict in every detail. It should be attempted to identify not only the needs and interests of each Party but also to develop some understanding for the position of the other one.

4. Generating options, negotiating, making a decision

At this stage, options for solutions to each problem are gathered. The mediator gathers whatever ideas come up. Subsequently, the options are evaluated and negotiated by the Parties. With the help of the mediator, they assess if and how the options are workable and can be put into practice, and if they meet the interests of both Parties.

5. Closure

At the end of the mediation, the results are documented (usually in writing)

Mediators

It is frequent practice (though not stringently required) that mediation is conducted by two mediators (co-mediation).

To suit the needs of the parents, their origin and their specific situation, it is often desirable that:

  • Mediation should be conducted by a male as well as a female mediator.
  • They should have different professional backgrounds. Usually one of them has a legal profession, the other one a psychological or pedagogic profession, in order to take into account the different aspects that are relevant in a conflict.
  • They should originate from the parents’ countries of origin, if possible, so as to have the same cultural background and language.
  • The mediators should meet specific criteria laid down by the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

The Costs

At this point, we cannot provide exact information on the costs.

Normally, mediators are paid per hour; they usually charge between 80 € and 200 € per hour (60 minutes). Sometimes it is possible to obtain less expensive arrangements. If a mediation process is undertaken, this question should be clarified beforehand. In addition, there are the costs of travel and overnight accommodation for the Parties and the mediators.



 

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