Family Mediation: A Separate Category of Mediation?

Chinwe Umegbolu

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


It defeats the whole aim of mediation which is to give all parties equal opportunity to freely communicate and try to reach an agreement themselves without any form of intimidation. This concern has been raised in some quarters that victims of domestic violence should not be talked into resorting to mediation against their will in order not to put themselves at risk. It is however important to point out that developing research finding has pointed out that not all cases where there has been domestic violence will be unsuited to mediation. It rather depends on the nature of the violence and the underlying factor or dynamics between particular couples. The decision has to be made in consultation with professionally trained mediators. It is worth pointing out that family mediation can be seen as a separate category of mediation because mediation is normally used in settling commercial disputes.
However, there does not seem to be a clear case to regard family mediation as not a category of mediation despite the prevalence of domestic violence. Thus it begs the question of whether family mediation can be assimilated into the general mediation or whether if it is a different class of mediation with its peculiar nuances.

Against the backdrop of this question, the paper would foreground the meaning of family mediation and its purpose. It goes on to scrutinize the statement by highlighting the differences and similarities of family mediation from the usual mediation. The paper will examine some of the arguments for and against. It will then capture the usual models of mediation and theories behind it and try to illustrate how family mediation can or cannot be assimilated into the parameters of the usual mediation models. The paper has employed the use of both primary and secondary resources. The conclusion touches on the proposition that family mediation in certain circumstance cannot be assimilated into the general parameters of the usual mediation models.
Original languageEnglish Canada
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • Family Mediation
  • Mediation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Mediation Models
  • Domestic violence
  • Access to Justice


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