Final Report Released on the Child Support Eligibility Mediation Pilot Project.
The overall objective of the Child Support Eligibility Mediation Project is to pilot a mediation model incorporating both interest-based and evaluative approaches to help separated families resolve disputes concerning the eligibility of adult children for child support and special expenses.
Some of the primary findings of the report:
- The Project demonstrates that mediation is a flexible process that is able to meet the dispute resolution needs of families even where there is conflict and estrangement, and many years have passed since the original separation.
- The Project demonstrates specific tools and methods that can be used successfully to involve children in mediation, including the Education Plan.
- The Project gives guidance around how mediators can use both interest-based and evaluative techniques to meet the circumstances and situations of the parties in these cases. Evaluative techniques worked best when gently used and framed as information rather than opinion. Many families in these contexts are seeking and need evaluative information.
- The Project shows that distance mediation can be effective in these cases and may in fact have advantages over traditional "in-person" mediation.
Our thanks to project managers Yuki Matsuno and Shelina Neallani for shepherding this project over the past two years, and to the generous funding and support provided by the Law Foundation of British Columbia, the BC Ministry of Justice.
Read the full report here.