The three main types of divorce mediation commonly practiced are facilitative, evaluative, and transformative. Here’s a brief explanation of each:
Facilitative Mediation: This type of mediation focuses on facilitating open communication and guiding the parties through reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator, helping the parties identify their issues, explore possible solutions, and make informed decisions. The mediator does not provide legal advice or decisions on behalf of the parties but helps foster a cooperative environment where the parties can collaborate to find resolutions.
Evaluative Mediation: In evaluative mediation, the mediator takes a more proactive role in providing legal guidance and expertise. They may assess the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s legal position and offer their evaluation or opinion on potential outcomes if the case were to go to court. Evaluative mediators may also suggest potential settlement options based on their legal knowledge and experience. I often used this approach in more complex cases or when the parties seek a mediator’s expert assessment of the likely legal outcomes.
Transformative Mediation: Transformative mediation empowers parties and promotes personal growth and understanding. The mediator encourages open communication, active listening, and recognition of each party’s perspective. The goal is not solely to settle but to transform the relationship and dynamics between the parties. Transformative mediators help the parties develop their problem-solving skills and support them in finding their own solutions. This type of mediation focuses on addressing the underlying issues and facilitating personal and relational growth.
It’s important to note that these types of mediation are not mutually exclusive, and mediators often integrate elements from different approaches based on the needs and dynamics of the specific case. The chosen mediation style will depend on the parties’ preferences, the nature of the dispute, and the desired outcomes.