We represent and support our clients throughout the mediation process. Mediation helps parties reach resolutions that are tailored to their and their families’ individual needs. It is one option for attempting to reach resolution. Some family law situations are very well-suited to mediation, and others are not.
Mediation is a voluntary process whereby parties attempt, with the assistance of a mediator, to negotiate their own resolution of matters between them. Such a resolution can include any or all of parenting, child support, spousal support, and family property issues. Mediation almost always involves compromises by both parties.
The mediator is a neutral and impartial third party who is trained to facilitate the discussion and to move towards solutions. The mediator and the parties will meet privately and talk about the issues. Parties are given full opportunities to express their views. The mediator ensures that all discussions are balanced and respectful, and helps the parties focus on potential solutions.
Mediation is known to be an accessible and affordable process. Mediation can be less expensive, quicker, and less stressful than other more formal dispute resolution options such as the court process. Agreements reached in mediation are legally binding once they are signed by both parties. Many people who use mediation are able to negotiate a settlement and avoid going to court.
When children are involved, former spouses usually continue to have a co-parenting relationship after divorce or separation. Mediation can help develop better channels of communication in this regard, and can help build a respectful, organized, and productive parenting relationship.
There are many “types” of mediators, and each mediator will have his or her own particular skill set and “style.” Selecting the right mediator with the right qualifications for your particular situation is extremely important. The best family lawyers will ensure you make the right choice.
The family law mediators we almost always recommend to our clients, and work with, are lawyers who have completed extensive training in family law mediation that is accepted by the Law Society of British Columbia. They generally have deep knowledge and experience with both the mediation process itself and all aspects of family law.