What are the different types of Family Mediation?

There are many different models of family mediation available and you should be aware of the different models before making a decision on whether mediation is the right process for you.   If it is, the option that best suits your needs to make the process as positive as it can be.

Regardless of the model of mediation used the following core principles still apply:

It is

  • Voluntary 
  • Confidential
  • Impartial  – the mediator is not there to ‘take sides’
  • Client driven – the meditator will not make decisions

It is not

  • Counselling or therapy
  • A substitution for legal advice
  • An opportunity to abuse, bully or impose views on the other
  • Legally binding
  • Compulsory 

Traditional Mediation

Probably the most used and known about, this typically involves participants having joint meetings in the same room (either in person or online) with a mediator.

Hybrid Mediation

In hybrid mediation the participant’s solicitors usually have a more active role in the process, they can be there for all or some of the time. A hybrid mediator will only share information between the participants which they have been authorised to disclose, so they can have separate confidential meetings with each participant to help find solutions.  This is very different to traditional mediation where the mediator cannot hold confidences.


Two mediators work together with the participants to help them resolve matters and can often be from different complimenting professions such as lawyer-mediator, therapeutic or financial.

Shuttle Mediation

Rather than the traditional mode of the participants being the same room, they are in separate rooms and the mediator moves between them.

Child Inclusive Mediation

If agreed between the parents or those with Parental Responsibility, a highly trained specialist mediator speaks to the children to ascertain their wishes and feelings to enable them to have a chance to have their voice heard.  The CIM is trained to speak to the children in an age appropriate way. 

If the children then give permission, these views can be shared by the mediator in a separate feedback meeting to assist them in working together to agree arrangements moving forward.  Generally speaking it would not be suitable for children under 10 to be spoken to, but there can be exceptions to this depending on the child involved. 

Before any mediator will be able to explore what option might be best for your circumstances, both parties are required to have an individual and confidential meeting with the mediator to receive information on the process, different process options and to ensure suitability for the process.  This is an invaluable meeting in understanding options and next steps. 

If you think mediation is a process you wish to explore or would like to know more about, please do not hesitate to contact Emma Post here or emma@ne-familylaw.co.uk or 020 3924 8462.