What is mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process in which people can sit together with the help of a specially trained neutral facilitator to design a mutually acceptable agreement.
The mediator helps people to take cooperative and reasonable approaches towards problem solving, by building on what can work in the future, rather than staying stuck with what has not worked in the past.
The Mediator does not:
Decide who is right or wrong or take sides
Mediation does not take the place of a lawyer so you will be encouraged to maintain independent legal advice throughout the process and to review the final mediated agreement with your lawyer before signing.
What are the benefits of mediation?
The benefits of family mediation are numerous.
Where children are involved, the focus is kept on the best interests of the children.
The ability to resolve issues in a way that suits the clients best and enables them to directly affect the outcome.
An opportunity to speak directly to the other person about issues of concern in a neutral and safe environment.
An opportunity to learn skills for better communication and cooperative problem solving.
Much less expensive and simpler than court processes.
Lessening tensions and removing an adversarial atmosphere.
The process is private.
The process is voluntary.
What is the mediator's role?
To help people to explore, understand and explain (to each other) their needs and concerns in a respectful and non-judgmental environment;
To help people work together to solve their common problem, using each other as a resource;
To help each parent explore, understand and explain to each other their views of the children's needs and plans for their care;
To help each parent explore the roles they will have in the parenting plan for the children;
To assist each parent to develop creative, but practical, ideas to resolve differences in their plans for the children's care;
To suggest possibilities if there is an impasse;
To diffuse conflict between people and focus the negotiation in a constructive manner.