5 things you may not know about family mediation

1- Family mediation is not only useful in the event of a difficult separation or divorce

If the family mediators receive many couples facing a more or less difficult separation, they also intervene for very practical questions. “In mediation, we can very concretely plan the modalities of co-parenting with couples who are in the process of – or are planning – to separate,” explains Pauline Brochier Grosse, family mediator DE at the Professional Departmental Association of Family Mediation. What kind of care for the children? Who assumes the transport? We also tackle the question of “alimony” (today, we are talking about financial contribution to the education and maintenance of children: the CFEEE). In fact, anything that can relate to everyday life during and after separation ”. And everything that helps to avoid conflicts over money. “It happens very regularly to us to work on the patrimonial questions, which keeps the principal residence, for example… But it is not rare to evoke the furniture, the car, and sometimes even the pet! “.

But other potentially conflicting situations can be expressed in mediation. “I receive parents of teenagers or young adults, who no longer speak to each other or are in the process of breaking up,” continues Pauline Brochier Grosse. Some really only talk to each other for an hour a week in my office… I am also increasingly involved in situations linked to the aging of parents and therefore to the notion of family caregivers. In siblings, it happens that we do not always agree to place a parent in a retirement home. If he doesn’t go, who will take care of it? Not to mention the costs that all these emotionally complicated situations generate… ”

So many situations where the mediator’s intervention makes it possible to maintain or renew the dialogue in order to find a solution together.

2- Recourse to family mediation is not necessarily ordered by a family affairs judge

Alongside the mediation ordered by the Family Affairs Judge, or the penal mediation of a family nature proposed by the Prosecutor, there is also a so-called “conventional” meditation activity. You call a mediator (see https://www.caf.fr/), who will then receive you, alone or with others, for a certain number of sessions. The objective is the same – to reduce tensions – and is based on the same framework: the necessary consent of the people, the neutrality and confidentiality of the proposed workspace and the impartiality of the mediator.

Since the end of 2016, in some courts, in the event of a request to modify a judgment, an attempt at family mediation must be made, otherwise the judge may declare the request inadmissible, and will not examine it. We then speak of TMFPO: mandatory prior family mediation attempt.

3- Family mediation does not necessarily cost a lot

Calling on a professional in liberal, especially at a time when one can be weakened financially, can make fear big expenses. However, some professionals work within the framework of associations which allow access to mediation at affordable rates. “I work for an association, the ADPMF, which operates as a platform on 9 sites in the Gard. Supported among others by financial partners such as the CNAF, the Departmental Council, the Ministry of Justice or the MSA, our rates are therefore calculated according to income, we use a scale developed by the CNAF. For example, a person benefiting from the RSA will pay 2 euros per session, while a person receiving the minimum wage will pay 5 euros… ”.

4- Family mediation is not necessarily long

The standard duration of family mediation support is 3 to 8 sessions. A naturally wide range: “You should know that the first session does not commit to anything in the long term, apart from respecting the framework laid together. People can try mediation and see if it suits them, says Pauline Brochier Grosse. We make a point after each interview to see if another interview needs to be asked, some will answer “yes” more easily than others. As the mediation process relies on the free consent of everyone, this is an important step. Everyone can therefore stop a meditation at any time, whether it is the mediator or the people. Taking into account the “time” variable is a sine qua non condition: not everyone is ready at the same time, it will sometimes be necessary to put some space between each interview; some come for a month and only need two sessions, others will come longer… ”

5- The mediator does not necessarily receive only 2 people in conflict

“It can happen that we do individual interviews, explains the mediator, to establish a relationship of trust or because there is a specific need. Sometimes, on the contrary, two-person sessions give way to more sessions. It happened to me to receive up to six people: grandparents, parents, children, the mediation can extend to the whole family… But whatever the number of people present or their age, the objective of the mediation is the same: participate in the fact that they come out of this space more serene, that the lump in the belly is smaller when leaving the office. The mediation space participates in the communication of the unspoken, in the putting into words of emotions and needs. Coming to mediation is difficult! In any case, their presence in mediation is already a big step forward towards re-linking! ”


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