The Process Of Mediation Within The United States Essay

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The purpose of mediation is to assist the participants in dispute reach a mutual agreement with the help of neutral third parties by creating a path for open communication. In order to be effective, the mediators must be able to establish a trusting relationship with the participants. This type of alternative dispute resolution has become very popular in the United States, so much so that California requires mediation in family custody battles. Helping couples reach an agreement regarding child custody is extremely important work, as it is at these meetings that decisions are made regarding where the children will live, how the parents will split time with the children, and who will have legal custody of the children – that is, who will decide what school the children attend, what religion the children will observe, what healthcare plans will be made for the children, and what cultural education and extracurricular activities the children will be involved in.
Determining child custody is difficult but the process may be further complicated by the struggle to communicate and build trust effectively when cultural differences exist between participants (the parents) and the mediators. In African Americans "Are Not Carbon Copies" of White Americans-the Role of African American Culture in Mediation of Family Disputes, Cynthia R. Mabry, states that cultural differences among the mediator and participants can lead to an unproductive and unresolved mediation. The white
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