What is one of the best ways to resolve family problems or conflicts?
In a great many cases the answer is working with a professional family mediator. When members of a family need to figure out what to do about something serious, a professional family mediator can provide crucial support for constructive communication and difficult decision-making.
What kinds of decisions do professional family mediators help with?
- marital conflicts
- parenting together
- co-parenting in separate households,
- divorce or marital dissolution,
- child custody,
- property distribution,
- spousal support (a.k.a. alimony),
- child support,
- family business succession and other matters,
- pre-nuptial agreements,
- elder care,
- inheritance disputes, and
- other disagreements, conflicts or issues within a family.
Mediation offers people the opportunity to resolve their disputes with the help of a neutral person trained in mediation skills, domestic violence issues, financial issues, and other relevant topics. The mediator is neither a judge or arbitrator who imposes a decision on people nor a therapist. The mediator’s role is to assist people in negotiating their own ways to resolve their problems or concerns. Respecting people’s rights to make their own decisions about their lives is high on the list of ethical responsibilities of professional family mediators.
What professional backgrounds do mediators have?
Mediators may be attorneys, psychologists, social workers, marriage or family counselors, financial specialists, or people with other backgrounds. In addition to any training they already have, members of APFM receive specialized training in mediation skills such as
- listening well,
- helping people discern and express their desires and goals, and
- helping people think creatively about ways to resolve their dilemmas.
APFM encourages family mediators to reach high levels of training and to pursue opportunities for further professional development throughout their careers.
What does the Academy of Professional Family Mediators offer to the public?
- articles about figuring out how to meet various family challenges
- a directory of family mediators that is searchable by location
- information about how mediation works
- speakers about resolving family conflicts