Mediation can be particularly helpful in cross-border family disputes and parental child abduction cases. The term ‘family matters’ covers a broad range of disputes, from purely private matters to those involving public authorities.
Cross-border family mediation is a process conducted by one (or several) impartial, qualified third person(s), the mediator. The mediator has no power to decide but helps the parties to regain communication and assists them in resolving their problem themselves.
The agreement reached is a tailor-made solution for their dispute that ensures that their parental decisions take account of the best interests of the child, if a child is concerned.
Family matters include: parental responsibility and access rights, child abduction, child protection measures, maintenance of children or ex-partners and other consequences of divorce or separation.
Partners are encouraged to take responsibility for the decisions concerning their family and to first try to resolve conflicts outside of the judicial system.
Mediation can therefore create a constructive atmosphere for discussions and ensure fair dealings between parents which also takes the best interest of the child into account.
Please consult the following pages to get more details on:
Please select the relevant country's flag to obtain detailed national information.
As a party you can apply for mediation in all the Member States. In some Member States the judge may invite the parties in a dispute to try mediation.
If all parties agree to use mediation, the selected mediator sets up the mediation schedule. The way the mediotor is selected depends on the specific country - you can find this information in the respecitve national pages available on the right hand side of this page.
Legal representatives can play an important role by providing the legal information necessary for the parties to make informed decisions.
Mediated agreements can be rendered enforceable if both parties so request. This can be achieved, for example, by way of approval by a court or certification by a public notary.
Legal representatives can review the mediated agreement to ensure that this agreement has legal effect in all legal systems concerned.
This link will take you to the Find a mediator page.
Where there are indications that the case is not suitable for mediation or that one (or both) of the parties are not willing to attempt mediation, the intervention of judicial authorities is necessary. In the screening of the suitability of the case, special attention must be given to the identification of possible risks such as domestic violence and its degree, drug or alcohol abuse, child abuse, etc… The suitability of the case must be decided on an individual basis and the standards applied by the mediator and the mediation organisation.
This page is maintained by the European Commission. The information on this page does not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Commission. The Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice with regard to copyright rules for European pages.