Mediation is a full-service process used to resolve your parenting, support, and property issues related to your separation and divorce without going to court. Whether you are married or in a common-law relationship, we can help. Your mediator will help you and your spouse/partner discuss even the most difficult issues together and will facilitate a resolution. You stay in control of the decision-making process. Mediation is a voluntary process, so you will not be pushed into any particular resolution. It is up to you how you resolve the issues, together.
Even if you and your spouse are unable to discuss issues on your own, your mediator will help you have a productive, respectful conversation, and will assist you to develop a plan going forward that works for both of you.
Your mediator will work to ensure the best possible outcome for both parties, created in a safe and respectful process. Whether your issues are only financial, or if you also need a parenting plan, the mediator will focus on creatively resolving the issues in a way that both parties feel is reasonable.
What is the process with Mediation?
The steps are as follows:
- The first step is to ensure that both you and your spouse/partner are willing to participate in mediation. If agreeable, then you can contact our Intake team and a short individual meeting (10 – 15 minutes) will be arranged for each of you with your mediator to provide you with an overview of the mediation process. This call is free.
- Once your mediator is retained (this means you have paid the fees and signed a contract), you will receive an “Our Family in Two Homes” resource package for each of you to complete privately – on your own time. The workbook will help you better prepare for the discussions you will have in joint mediation sessions, includes exercises to help understand your communication and conflict challenges and your shared values, and provides you with an overview of the law.
- Your mediator will meet with each of you separately for 60 – 90 minutes so that you can confidentially express your needs and concerns, ask questions about the mediation process and prepare for the joint mediation sessions. You will also discuss the financial information you need to gather and organize to ensure your mediation sessions are productive.
- Your first joint mediation session (both of you + your mediator) will be scheduled, usually for 2 hours, where you will all begin your work together to address your challenges and issues.
- All of this is provided at a resource package rate of $2,400 plus HST. We ask that you each pay half of this fee when you receive your workbooks ($1,200 each). After our first joint session, we will give you the choice to discuss a further flat rate, or to pay for services at your mediator’s hourly rate of $335 per hour. At the end of the first joint mediation session, you will both be better informed and we will be better able to predict how much additional mediation time you will need. Most separating couples need between 2 and 4 joint mediation sessions, but the amount of time will depend on your ability to communicate effectively, gather information and manage conflict.
- After an agreement has been reached in principle, your mediator will create a Mediation Report which is their understanding of the terms of agreement. It is not a legally binding agreement. To ensure your rights are protected, each of you will take the Mediation Report to your own lawyer for independent legal advice. One of the lawyers will draft a Separation Agreement based on the Mediation Report. Once signed by both parties, this legally-binding contract is enforceable by the court should there be any breaches of its terms.
During joint meetings, you and your spouse/partner will discuss your underlying interests, goals, concerns, values and priorities. Together, you will discuss potential solutions that meet each person’s underlying interests. You will have a deal.
Call our office and set up a time for a brief meeting with one of our mediators. It’s free.
All mediations are currently conducted online using Zoom, so you must have a computer, laptop or tablet with a webcam and sufficient internet service for video conferencing.