3 pages/≈825 words
The Processes of Family and Couple Mediation. (Coursework Sample)
Family conflicts and couple disagreements sometimes lead to unresolvable differences culminating in divorce or separation. Such disputes and separations involve complex emotions which hinder sound decision-making regarding the financial and parental responsibilities of the parties involved. An impartial third party becomes necessary to help the couples determine the consequences of their disagreements and separation by taking them through a mediation process. source..
The Processes of Family and Couple Mediation. Author Affiliation Course Instructor Due Date The Processes of Family and Couple Mediation Family conflicts and couple disagreements sometimes lead to unresolvable differences culminating in divorce or separation. Such disputes and separations involve complex emotions which hinder sound decision-making regarding the financial and parental responsibilities of the parties involved. An impartial third party becomes necessary to help the couples determine the consequences of their disagreements and separation by taking them through a mediation process. Unlike therapeutic approaches, which focus on the causes of conflict or separation, mediation is a conflict resolution method that focuses on the consequences (Rafti, 2019). Mediators employ different strategies, models, and processes to help the warring parties reach an amicable solution without going through costly and lengthy legal battles hence protecting the welfare of the couples, family members, and children. Case James and Helen have been married for 11 years and have two children; Taylor, aged 10, and Tom, 7. Recently the couple experienced constant fighting and disagreements, which saw Helen leave her matrimonial home with the two children. She later filed for divorce, but the process is yet to be completed because they cannot agree on many issues, including parental and financial responsibilities. On the one hand, James wants the children to stay with him in their initial home, while on the other hand, Helen argues that the children are still minors and she should be the one to stay with them. Moreover, the two cannot agree on how to split the fortune they have immersed over the years and share child financial support. The couple is aware of the emotional, physical, and economic implications of a custody court battle and therefore agrees to seek the services of a mediator. Different models of mediation exist, including facilitative, evaluative, and transformative. In this case, the mediator uses the facilitative mediation model, which guides the couple to make informed decisions independently without authoritatively interfering in the process (Salminen, 2018). The model involves private or “caucus” sessions and joint meetings. In private sections, the mediator meets both James and Helen separately and tries to help them open up about sensitive issues they may not want to state in the joint sessions. After hearing them in private and suggesting ways to resolve the stalemate, the mediator facilitates joint sessions and guides the couple to agree on mutually accepted solutions on child custody, sharing wealth, and child support. Before the commencement of the process, the mediator uses several techniques to remove barriers to a successful mutual settlement. Firstly, the mediator devises ways to deal with the anger and hostility between James and Helen. Tension, heated arguments, and miscommunication can affect the process. The mediator calls on the couple to think about the welfare of their children and avoid letting their emotions get in the way. Through the “controlled venting” technique, the mediator focuses on the issues rather than the individuals during emotional outbursts and blame games. Similarly, the mediator needs to resolve deadlocks between the two couples by broadening the terms of agreement and strategically adjourning sessions to give them time to think through. Finally, the mediator uses trial co-parenting and shared financial arrangements to foster respect and trust between James and Helen. The mediation process, in this case, involves four main stages: setting the stage, defining the disputes, processing the issues, and resolving the issues. Before meeting with the couple and discussing the problems pertinent to the disagreement, the mediator sets the stage for the process to start by highlighting the rules of the engagement, comparing the process with other conflict resolution methods and their facilitative role in the process. The second stage involves tabling the issues causing the conflict: child support and custody and wealth sharing. The mediator helps the parties to move to a bargaining position by letting them voice their views about the issues. In the third stage, the mediator guides the couple to brainstorm the issues and find common ground. For instance, ask the couple leading questions on what would happen if they co-parented or co-shared child support. Here the mediator will identify mutually acceptable options and bank on them to resolve the conflict (Rafti, 2019). Finally, the mediator goes through the identified options with the couple and helps them decide the most viable one for both. For example, James and Helen agree to co-parent the two children, where the children will stay with Helen, but the father will have unlimited access to them. Also, the couple chooses to share the child support expenses equally. However, the couple does not...
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