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What is family mediation?

Verified 21 March 2019 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Experimentation with compulsory mediation prior to family disputes

On an experimental basis, an attempt at mediation is compulsory before any application for modification of the approved decisions and agreements laying down the procedures for the exercise of parental authority in the courts of Bayonne, Bordeaux, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, Évry, Nantes, Nîmes, Montpellier, Pontoise, Rennes, Saint-Denis and Tours.

However, this obligation does not apply if violence has been committed against a parent or the child.

Family mediation is another way to resolve disputes such as breakdowns, separations and divorces, succession, or disputes that prevent you from seeing your children or grandchildren. It shall be established with the agreement of both parties.

At your request

Family mediation is a time of listening, of exchanges and of negotiation that allows to take into account in a very concrete way the needs of each one (children, third parties, grandparents, parents, heirs...). Its aim is to ease the conflict and preserve relations within the family. It is a structured and confidential process for the amicable resolution of family disputes. Its aim is to reach a mutually acceptable solution.

  • Parents in breakdown, separation, divorce
  • Grandparents who want to maintain ties with their grandchildren
  • Person wishing to maintain ties with the children of his former spouse (husband, wife, partner of Pacs: titleContent, concubine
  • Young adult who is out of contact or communication with his family
  • Heirs

Please note

mediation can only begin if both parties are present and have agreed.

The family mediator is a qualified professional with expertise in psychology and law.

It does not judge and has no decision-making power.

It helps to find a solution to the conflict, to the situation, respecting the principles of confidentiality, impartiality and neutrality.

He has no powers of instruction. However, it may, with the agreement of the parties and for the purposes of mediation, hear the consent of third parties.

You can contact your family allowance fund (Caf) or the court on which your home depends to contact a family mediator.

Who shall I contact

Family mediation takes place in 3 stages:

  1. The information interview in which the family mediator presents you with the objectives, content and themes you can address. You can thus accept or refuse to engage in family mediation in full knowledge of the facts. This interview is without commitment.
  2. Family mediation interviews: lasting from 1 hour 30 to 2 hours, they take place over a period of 3 to 6 months. Their number (6 to 10 interviews) varies depending on your situation and the topics you wish to discuss: residence of children, financial contribution to their maintenance, right of access ...
  3. If you reach an agreement, you can ask the judge to approve it. This agreement will have the same force as a judgment.

Information maintenance is free of charge.

You will then be asked to contribute according to your income.

You can benefit according to your resources legal aid (total cost-sharing by the State). If it is granted, the burden of the costs of mediation shall be shared equally. The costs of the party receiving legal aid shall be borne by the State.

FYI  

there are also liberal mediators, who are not subject to a national scale (the maintenance of information also pays).

At the request of the judge

Family mediation is a time of listening, of exchanges and of negotiation that allows to take into account in a very concrete way the needs of each one (children, third parties, grandparents, parents, heirs...). Its aim is to ease the conflict and preserve relations within the family. It is a structured and confidential process for the amicable resolution of family disputes. Its aim is to reach a mutually acceptable solution.

Mediation does not remove the judge, who may take any other action he deems necessary at any time.

  • Parents in breakdown, separation, divorce
  • Grandparents who want to maintain ties with their grandchildren
  • Person wishing to maintain ties with the children of his former spouse (husband, wife, partner of Pacs: titleContent, concubine
  • Young adult who is out of contact or communication with his family
  • Heirs

Please note

mediation can only begin if both parties are present and have agreed.

The family mediator is a qualified professional with expertise in psychology and law.

It does not judge and has no decision-making power.

It helps to find a solution to the conflict, to the situation, respecting the principles of confidentiality, impartiality and neutrality.

As soon as the decision designating the mediator is pronounced, the court registry shall notify the parties and the mediator of a copy by simple letter.

Family mediation takes place in 3 stages:

  1. The information interview in which the family mediator presents you with the objectives, content and themes you can address. You can thus accept or refuse to engage in family mediation in full knowledge of the facts. This interview is without commitment.
  2. Family mediation interviews: lasting from 1 hour 30 to 2 hours, they take place over a period of 3 to 6 months. Their number (6 to 10 interviews) varies depending on your situation and the topics you wish to discuss: residence of children, financial contribution to their maintenance, right of access ...
  3. If you reach an agreement, you can ask the judge to approve it. This agreement will have the same force as a judgment.

Upon the expiry of his duties, the mediator shall inform the judge in writing of the outcome of the proceedings. On the day set, the case returns to the judge.

FYI  

the judge may terminate mediation at any time on the request of a party or on the initiative of the mediator.

Information maintenance is free of charge.

At the end of his term of office, the judge shall fix the remuneration of the mediator.

Where the costs of mediation are borne by the parties, the parties shall determine their allocation freely. If no agreement is reached, such costs shall be apportioned equally, unless the judge considers that such apportionment is unfair in view of the economic situation of the parties.

You can benefit according to your resources legal aid (total cost-sharing by the State). If it is granted, the burden of the costs of mediation shall be shared equally. The costs of the party receiving legal aid shall be borne by the State.