Mediation is helpful in many family contexts including:
- Separation and divorce
- Estate planning/disputes
- Guardianship planning/disputes
- Adult sibling conflicts
- Custody and access negotiation
- Cottage sharing disputes (2nd and 3rd generations)
- Parent/teen conflicts
- Family business/property disputes
- Family farm/business succession planning
- Elder care planning/disputes
Mediation offers an important alternative to the traditional options when separating or divorcing.
As you make decisions regarding how to proceed through divorce, listen to a panel of experts discuss the challenges of navigating our family court systems. Then consider mediation as a gentler and less stressful way forward.
What to expect in separation/divorce mediation:
If both partners decide to engage in the mediation process, the lead mediator will set up initial individual appointments with you and your partner. The purpose of the individual session is to explore what you would like to discuss and to gather information about what you need to consider in preparation for the joint meeting with your partner.
During the individual interview, the lead mediator will ask each partner about what issues need to be addressed. This session also allows for confidential sharing about some of the issues, problems or concerns that either partner is experiencing or anticipating going forward and it is also an opportunity to identify goals for the future. Some of the information gathered during the interview includes:
- Full names and birthdates
- Date of marriage and separation
- Children’s names and birthdates
- Custody, access, and support
- Parenting plans
- Spousal support
- Individual and joint financial information
- Division of marital property
Once the parties have been interviewed individually, the mediator will prepare a very rough draft of the settlement terms based on the individual discussions. The purpose of the draft agreement is to provide an agenda for the joint discussion when both parties are present with the lead and co-mediator. If there are areas of disagreement, those issues will be left blank on the draft and discussed in the joint session. The goal of the joint session is for you and your partner to come to mutually satisfactory separation terms.
Throughout the process you will also be advised to seek out independent legal counsel to ensure that you understand your legal rights and responsibilities. We, as mediators, cannot and will not advise you on any areas of the law.