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O'Flaherty, Heim, & Curtis Ltd. > Family Law > Different circumstances call for different mediation styles

Different circumstances call for different mediation styles

Written by: Attorney Judith E. Payne

September 21st, 2017

Now that you have decided to use mediation for your divorce, you need to know how the mediator might approach your situation and what the right style might be for you and your spouse.

There are three basic mediation styles: Facilitative, evaluative and transformative.

Facilitative is the original style of mediation. The mediator may direct the agenda and suggest options, but the parties are ultimately in control of the outcome.

The evaluative mediator is prone to control the agenda and provide a no-nonsense view of the situation. Mediators who use this style point out weaknesses and predict outcomes of the issues in the event the matter goes to trial. Former judges utilize this style of mediation almost exclusively.

Transformative mediation is the newest style of mediation. This style recognizes individual concerns and needs and empowers parties to come up with solutions that may be unique to their particular situation. The transformative mediator provides a safe nonthreatening environment for the parties to discuss underlying problems, not just the immediate issues, thereby promoting the likelihood of rebuilding relationships to a more productive, cooperative level moving forward.

Most mediators use a combination of these styles for different situations and at different times during a particular mediation.  When selecting a mediator for your case, be sure to read the mediators’ background information and comments posted on line to select one that’s right for you.  Look for mediators who focus on family law matters and who have completed the 40-hour family mediation training course.

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