top of page
  • What if the other party and I are not on good terms and not speaking to each other?
    It is common for parties in family mediations to have strained interactions. Fostering more respectful and civil interactions would have a lasting positive impact on the children and their well-being, and the well-being of parents, too. Mediation can help improve communication between them. In some cases, the mediator may hold separate meetings with each person, called "shuttle mediations." This way, they don't have to talk directly to each other, which can make it easier. It might take a bit longer, but it can be helpful when direct communication is too hard. In other situations, mediation may not be the right process to resolve the issues. Mediators are trained to recognize these situations and ensure a safe and fair process.
  • Why is mediation often a good approach for family conflicts?
    When families have conflicts, mediation is a helpful approach with many benefits. A mediator is a neutral person who helps guide the family members to negotiate and find solutions that work for everyone. The mediator also promotes good communication and healthier relationships among the family members, which is important, especially for the well-being of any children impacted by the separation. Since the solutions are created cooperatively by the family members themselves, they tend to last longer.
  • Can my children participate in the mediation?
    Children are not directly involved in the mediation process itself. However, their thoughts and feelings can be shared with the mediator through special reports created by professionals who are trained to talk to children in this kind of situation. These reports can help the mediator understand the children's perspectives and take them into account when making decisions.
  • What if I have doubts about the final decisions that we make?
    Neither party should feel pressured or rushed into an agreement they do not want to make. Both parties are strongly encouraged to obtain independent legal advice before finalizing agreements. Discussing doubts with a lawyer who can provide guidance can help you decide what to do and ensure you make well-informed decisions.
  • What determines the cost of the mediation and who pays for it?
    Usually, both parties share the cost of mediation equally. Mediators usually charge an hourly rate for their services, but sometimes they have full-day rates or flat rates. The complexity and number of issues involved in the mediation determine the cost. For example, if the mediation covers a full separation agreement, including decisions about parenting plans, property division, child support, and spousal support, it will usually cost more and require more mediation sessions compared to a mediation with fewer issues. The time and cost may also be higher if there is high conflict between the parties or if there are more assets to divide.
  • Can I use what was discussed in mediation in a future court proceeding?
    No, discussions in mediation are confidential, and mediators cannot be called to testify in court. However, the agreements reached in mediation, documented in a Separation Agreement or a Memorandum of Understanding, can be used in court.
  • How many mediation sessions will there be?
    The number of mediation sessions varies depending on the complexity and number of issues involved. For example, if the mediation only focuses on parenting arrangements between parents, it may only require one or two 2-hour sessions. However, if the mediation covers all parenting and property issues in a separation, it may require several two-hour sessions. While some parties prefer to have an all-day mediation, it is more common to spread the sessions out. The length and timing of mediation sessions can vary. It's important to note that regardless of the length, mediation is usually much less costly than going to court.
  • What is meant by “financial disclosure” in family mediation?
    Financial disclosure means openly sharing relevant financial information between the parties when dividing property in a separation or for support arrangements. This includes providing accurate details about each party's financials which may include income, assets, debts, expenses, and financial situation. The purpose is to ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of one another's finances. It is important to identify and assess the financial resources and obligations of each party for fair negotiation.
  • Is it necessary to have a lawyer during mediation?
    Having a lawyer during mediation is a personal choice. While it is not necessary, it is highly recommended to seek independent legal advice before reaching the final agreement stage. Mediators can provide legal information, but they cannot give legal advice. A lawyer can assess the fairness of the agreement and provide information about the legal consequences. It's important to make well-informed decisions by understanding the likely outcomes if the case were to go to trial. It is also important to ensure that the mediated agreement will be accepted by the court and not set aside because it is deemed unfair to one of the parties. Some lawyers offer "unbundled services," which means they provide legal assistance for specific tasks or limited parts of the case, instead of representing the parties throughout the entire process.
bottom of page