The modern emergence of mediation in the West in the 1980s represents a profound transformation of civil disputing practice, particularly in the field of family justice. In the field of family disputes mediation has emerged to fill a gap which none of the existing services, lawyers and courts on the one hand, or welfare, advisory or therapeutic interventions on the other, could in their nature have filled.
In the UK mediation is now the approved pathway in the current landscape of family dispute resolution processes, officially endorsed and publicly funded by government to provide separating and divorcing families with the opportunity to resolve their disputes co-operatively with less acrimony, delay and cost than the traditional competitive litigation and court process.
The consolidation of the professional practice of family mediation reflects its progress and creativity in respect both of the expanding focus on professional quality assurance as well as on developments of policy, practice guidelines and training to address central concerns about the role of children in mediation, screening for domestic abuse, sexual orientation and gender identity as well as cross-cultural issues including the role of interpreters in the process. Other areas of innovation include the application of family mediation to a growing range of family conflict situations involving, for example, international family disputes (including cross border, relocation and child abduction issues).
Written by leaders in family mediation, Family Mediation: Contemporary Theoretical and Practice Issues provides a contemporary account of current practice developments and research concerning family mediation across a range of issues in the UK and Ireland.