Family Mediation and Best Interests Assessment

Whether you’re in dispute over child custody, parenting schedules, support payments, division of inherited property or estate planning, we can help you resolve your disagreement and reach a settlement. Compared to traditional litigated divorce, family mediation is less costly and faster to complete. The process is also more respectful and less adversarial, allowing both parties to preserve their relationships as they work together to find a solution.

In the field of family mediation the focus has been on the role of children as an objective factor in decision making, and child-informed and child-focused mediation models have emerged. Traditionally, facilitative and evaluative mediator approaches have not explicitly incorporated a child rights perspective into their practices. The present article aims at analysing how the mediation theories of facilitative and evaluative mediation can be applied in a rights-based best interests assessment.

This paper demonstrates that positive or instructional active mediation in families is more diverse than previously recognised, and includes interactions not only during media content engagement but also relating to that content at a later time. It also explores roles of individuals beyond parents, including grandparents, siblings and cousins. A revised typology for active mediation is proposed to include these novel forms of family mediation. This typology can be useful to mediation practitioners to support them in their practice. In addition, the results of this study highlight the need to refocus the scope of research on young children’s use of media.

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