Evaluative mediation should only take place when formally agreed by the parties beforehand including the circumstances in which intervention will take place. Note that the views of the evaluative mediator are generally given privately in separate session. The mediator’s views are not binding so that the parties retain the right to proceed with other avenues of dispute resolution including court in the event the matter fails to settle.

In cases where emotional and personality issues have caused a dysfunctional relationship but there is to be an ongoing relationship between the parties such as spouses who have separated but who are to remain in a parenting relationship for the rest of their lives, or business partners who wish to continue in that partnership , or family members who will have to continue to relate to each other, or neighbours who wish to continue to communicate positively with each other in time to come , or staff members who must continue to work in close liaison, you might choose therapeutic mediation or what might be called restorative mediation.

Some of the keys to this form of mediation are the space to unlock the past and tell the untold story, coaching, trust, compassion and empathy balanced with authority and transparency in the mediator, modelling deep listening and respectful interaction, but with the expertise of the science of trauma and psychological injury and its consequences and the healing needed, brought to the mediation process. Family dispute resolution can incorporate the application of therapeutic or restorative justice principles for example in cases where separated parents have been engaged in long and tortuous litigation and multiple counselling efforts over years in severe high conflict, to help bring the parties to a co-operative parental alliance.

Mediation can be considered at any stage in the dispute process.

The subject, emotional content, complexity of the issues and cost may be relevant in determining which mediator might best be selected for the task.
Mediation is usually face to face but in cases where this is not possible due to factors including power imbalance, overwhelming fear or upset ,the mediation can be by shuttle(the parties see the mediator separately in a series of private sessions),or skype or telephone.