WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation is a cooperative process that uses negotiation, to assist parties arrive at an agreement in order to resolve a dispute. It is often used as an alternative to going to court to have a Judge resolve a dispute. Therefore Mediation is often referred to as an Alternative Dispute Resolution Process.
WHAT IS FAMILY MEDIATION AND HOW CAN IT HELP?
Family Mediation is a cost-effective cooperative process of negotiating family issues and concerns. At Dialogues we mainly offer mediation regarding: co-parenting, custody, access/parenting time and parental decision-making. Co-parenting refers to parenting from separate households. There are many challenges involved in co-parenting after separation. Often at the time of separation the parties are emotionally at different places regarding grieving the loss of the relationship. This difference in emotional perspective can make even simple interactions difficult. Separated parties often have different values. These differences also complicate attempts at communication and can make co-parenting very difficult. A skilled mediator can assist by helping parties communicate their concerns effectively and by providing suggestions to help parties resolve disagreements. Mediation can also be helpful in situations where there are disputes between parents and grandparents or other relatives. By reducing the conflict, mediation can help parents separate well and co-parent effectively.
THE MEDIATION PROCESS
The mediator will meet with each party individually prior to meeting with them together. In these interviews the mediator gets to know each client and their individual concerns. The mediator will ask questions about the parties, the children and their past and current relationships. Gaining and understanding of each party’s perspective allows the mediator to assess the situation and proceed effectively. Most often following the individual sessions the mediator will sit down with the parties together to begin the mediation process.
When the parties sit down together with the mediator for the first time, they will create an agenda or a list of topics that they wish to discuss and resolve. Upon completing the agenda they will discuss each item one at a time, coming to resolution before moving on to the next one. Once discussions are completed and parties have arrived at an agreement, the mediator will create a hard copy, draft document. Each party must then review the draft with independent counsel/lawyers and the lawyers will then use it to prepare a separation agreement or a domestic contract.
THE ROLE OF THE MEDIATOR:
- help you to communicate effectively
- ensure that parties discuss one topic at a time
- make certain that each party us understanding the other
- clarify statements made by each party
- bring clarity to the conversation
- keep the conversation from to digressing to a path of conflict
- keep you from becoming overwhelmed
- suggest many options for resolving issues. For example: Party #1 may want A, Party #2 may want B, your mediator may suggest C,D, and E, one of which you both may find satisfactory to your and your children’s needs
BENEFITS OF MEDIATION:
- Mediation is a cooperative, non adversarial approach to separation and co-parenting.
- When ending a couple or marital relationship people can either end it in ongoing conflict, or they can separate well allowing them to co-parent well.
- Mediation can assist parties to find the level of interaction that is healthiest for each parent and the children, from minimal contact to flexible cooperative interactive parenting. The level of interaction parties are able to achieve can vary with time.
- Because mediation is a cooperative approach, issues resolve more quickly. One mediator looking for one solution tends to be much more time-effective than other approaches.
- Mediation is generally cost-effective and can save you money on your legal fees.
- Often parties who have completed the mediation process leave getting along better than they did before beginning the process
ISSUES MEDIATED AT DIALOGUES INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
- Custody concerns
- Parenting time/access
- Parenting time on holidays and children’s birthdays
- Decision making regarding children’s health care, education, extra-curricular activities, religion
- Travel arrangements
- Parameters for communication
—— If you want to engage in financial mediation we will help you find a financial mediator ——