Every family will eventually experience a disagreement. Family disagreements occur between siblings, parents and children, and between relatives who work together in a family business. These disputes are often highly emotional, and, if left unchecked, may escalate and permanently destroy relationships. Although many of these disagreements do not involve a formal lawsuit, Chicago family mediators can help. Family mediators help the parties air their concerns in a calm environment and assist them to compromise and reach an agreement that satisfies all of the parties.
Most mediation sessions involve the same elements. First, the mediator will speak with each individual to determine where he or she stands on the issues in the disagreement. This gives the mediator an idea of how much progress needs to be made to reach a settlement.
The mediator will then begin helping the parties brainstorm ways that the disagreement may be resolved. Usually, the mediator and one party will think of a settlement term to propose, and the mediator will take this proposal to the other party. Most often, the parties are in separate rooms while mediation is ongoing.
The parties are free to accept or reject any terms that are suggested. The mediator’s role does not include making decisions for the parties or telling them what to do. If a settlement is reached, it is because the parties created a comprehensive agreement.
Mediation is especially beneficial for family conflicts because it often protects the relationships of the parties. The goal of mediation is settlement, whereas the goal of a trial or a heated argument is to “win.” When the parties are proactive in searching for ways to resolve their dispute, they feel less animosity and negative feelings toward one another. In fact, the parties’ communication skills are often strengthened by mediation, benefiting their relationship for years to come.