"The proceedings were complex and long, with a lot of back and forth between the two countries. [...] We decided to do mediation to speed things up. We realised we could talk about everything and sort out issues that would come up later anyway [...] such as how to organise the holidays in the best way.”
A mother and a father
International family mediation is nowadays recognised as a useful and effective solution to cross-border conflicts and child abduction. Complementing the legal approach, the method allows for better protection for children affected by parental conflicts.
How does international family mediation work?
Mediators trained to deal with the diverse challenges of cross-border conflicts lead the mediation. They support the parents in managing the conflict through communication and exchange and in finding solutions that can be met by all family members concerned. Once the mediation has been completed, the parties have the possibility to make the mediation agreement legally binding by having it approved by the responsible legal authority.
This can prevent child abductions and reduce the risk of losing contact with one of the parents.
ISS Switzerland accepts mediation requests, either in Switzerland or by videoconference with a parent in another country. We analyse the relevance and feasibility of the mediation according to the principles defined in the International Charter. When possible, we act in cooperation with our partners in the country concerned to facilitate the process.
The ISS Guide to International Family Mediation provides information on the mediation process, the topics covered, legal challenges and child abduction. Furthermore, it includes practical guidance for parents and country-specific information.