Is a conflict always needed for mediation?

Let me get straight to the point. The answer is no. With mediation, the parties are guided in making agreements about a certain situation. In family law mediations, such as divorces and visitation arrangements, it is essentially about ending a certain situation and making agreements about the desired new situation.

Shared interests

Mediation is aimed at finding and identifying the shared interests of the parties themselves and their children and using those as the common thread for the future. So, ‘Where do we want to go?’ instead of, ‘Who is right?’

And then?

If you already have a view of what these shared interests are, even before mediation, then the next step is to determine how you will achieve your shared goal together.

Step-by-step plan

The mediator assists in making working agreements, so that parties know who is going to do what and when steps can be taken to achieve the shared goal.


The mediator attorney informs the parties about the possible consequences of certain wishes and can refer them to the tax specialist or financial expert to see if and how certain things are possible. With this information, the parties can then return to the table.

Collaborations are also possible with other mediators whose expertise is complementary, such as a mediator with a background as a psychologist or estate planner.


Once agreements have been made, the next phase is to record them. A mediator attorney knows from experience what you should pay attention to when formulating and recording the agreements made. Here too, the help of a tax specialist is called in if necessary to ensure that no blue envelopes arrive with unpleasant surprises.


Once all the agreements are to everyone’s wishes, the covenant or parenting plan can be signed. A new period begins. The divorce is final or good agreements have been made for the children. Mediation is thus primarily a process that closes a certain period and heralds a new period and does not require a conflict or dispute. It is also a means that can be used much more easily in order to arrive at good agreements under professional supervision.


It is therefore quite possible to come back for an update after a while if there are changed circumstances or if there is a risk of disagreement.