What Should You Expect When You Choose Family Mediation?
What is family mediation? When a family is experiencing a dispute, a mediator, who is a non-biased party, helps the parties come up with a resolution. The mediator does not take sides, but listens to the concerns of each party and helps them come to a resolution or settlement — without going to court.
What happens in a mediation session?
In a mediation session, each party is able to express his or her concerns and ideas. A mediator runs the session, ensuring that everyone has a right to equal time and freedom of his or her opinion. Parties involved in the session can meet with a mediator together or in separate rooms. The goal is to come up with a solution that all parties can agree on.
How long do the sessions take?
Session times may vary. They may last up to three hours.
What happens after a mediation session?
If a settlement or agreement is decided on, it may be written up and filed with the courts by the attorney. If an agreement was not forthcoming, another session may be scheduled.
What types of family issues are candidates for mediation?
Divorce and/or separation, asset division, custody and parenting plans, child support or alimony — these are all family issues that may benefit from family mediation.
What are the benefits of family mediation?
Mediation is much friendlier than fighting out family issues in court. In court, a judge makes the final decision on the case. In mediation, the parties involved have an opportunity to have their issues and concerns not only heard, but considered. Through the mediator, the parties come up with a final solution, which each must agree on. There is less negativity and stress — and usually a kinder outcome.
How do I know what type of mediator I need?
A mediation attorney can usually provide advice on what professional resources are needed depending on the type of dispute. For instance, in dividing a family-owned business, a financial appraiser may be needed to determine the worth of the business.
Source: Legal Aid Ontario, “Family mediation and settlement conferences,” accessed May 14, 2015