Arguments & fights
over children

Crossing boundaries

Central Contact Point for Cross-border Family Conflicts

ZAnK - Zentrale Anlaufstelle für grenzüberschreitende Kindschaftskonflikte


“Mediation” is not a protected name; “mediator” is not a registered job title. What mediation means to one person is not necessarily the same as what it means to another, all the less so when the persons concerned come from different cultures.

The information you find on this website reflect an understanding of the process and structure of mediation which is currently gaining momentum in Germany and many other States. This understanding, however, is not exclusive, i.e. it is not a must to resolve a conflict in this manner. There are other forms of conflict resolution as well (e.g. so-called shuttle mediation, or a family council) – what is decisive is that the Parties to the conflict are willing and open to reaching a solution.

Mediation? What for?

Separation can cause perplexity. The ex-partners are no longer able – or willing – to talk to each other. They leave it up to a lawyer, and the court, to fight the battle and to enforce their interests. It can be a relief to delegate responsibility to third persons. On the downside, however, it takes a lot of time, money, and nerves too. It also means to leave it up to third persons to find a solution for one’s problems – so to speak, to have matters and decisions taken out of one’s hands.

Mediation can be a means to overcome perplexity and to regain one’s capacity to act. The following pages will give you more information on the characteristics of mediation (the process, duration, costs), possible contact persons, etc.

Central Contact Point for Mediation in the context of the Malta Process

Not every State in the world is a Contracting State to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which stipulates the preconditions for the return of an abducted child to the State of habitual residence. A parent whose child was abducted to a so-called Non-Contracting State cannot apply for the child’s return by means of the Central Authorities. They have to resort to finding a solution by means of negotiation or court proceedings in the other country, or getting the abducting parent’s consent to be allowed to have contact with the child. In many cases, it is difficult or not possible at all to have the child returned.

The so-called Malta Process is aimed at finding ways to resolve such cases. In the so-called Malta Mediation Principles, the Hague Conference describes the range of tasks of a Central Contact Point for international family mediation and lays down criteria to be fulfilled by mediators.

ISS German Branch applies these quality criteria in selecting mediators. Any mediators interested in cooperating are most welcome to contact us.

In order to help parents find a contact person, Central Contact Points for family mediation will provide them with basic information on:

  • Mediation as well as mediators, if required,
  • Agencies which provide legal advice,
  • Ways to locate the whereabouts of a child.

Whether mediation is advisable, and at which point in time, cannot be foreseen. On principle, ISS German Branch always aims to resolve family conflicts by means of de-escalation and an amicable solution – including informal ways of conflict resolution as well.


Please note

This website is currently under construction. We apologize for any inconvenience because some pages are not yet complete. For any questions, please call: 030 / 629 80 403.





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