Mediation is a flexible and informal process that many find considerably less stressful than pursuing court-related channels to resolve their family disputes. The mediation process allows for a greater sense of control and autonomy for clients and can lead to a more effective co-parenting experience.
In family mediation, clients are assisted to come to agreement about the issues arising from their separation and divorce process. Clients are encouraged to maintain clear and respectful communication with each other, and are guided in clarifying their goals for themselves and their families. They may be given legal information to assist them in making appropriate decisions.
The client’s initial intake process is done over the phone by the Office Administrator. When the clients are ready; an appointment will be scheduled for them to work with two mediators using a Co-Mediation Model.
In the initial appointment each client will have an individual session, followed by a 2 hour mediation session. The whole mediation process may take from 1 to 3 sessions to complete.
- The two mediators explain the process of mediation and review the Agreement to Mediate with the clients and each of the clients signs it.
- The mediators take this time to give each client a chance to tell their story and to answer any questions they may have. The mediators also begin to help the clients explore their underlying issues and goals to prepare for the joint mediation.
- Following the individual sessions both clients get together with the two mediators to begin their communication. The mediators assist the clients to uncover common ground as well as explore their options for resolving areas of disagreement.
- The mediators may provide legal information to the clients but do not give out legal advice.
- Clients can come away with new communication skills and a clearer plan for the future.
- If agreements are reached the mediators will provide a Memorandum of Understanding to the clients in the weeks following their last mediation session. This is an outline of the agreements reached and in itself is not a legally binding document but rather a snapshot of what the clients agreed to during their mediation process.