Bright Thinking

THE MEDIATION PROCESS

Mediation is a method of dispute resolution. People work with the mediator to identify matters that need to be addressed. Participants express their individual objectives, develop and consider their options, and reach a detailed agreement. Participation is voluntary. Each decision is voluntary.

WHAT KIND OF DISPUTES?

People who are separating or divorcing often use mediation to make decisions about how to deal with the family assets and debts, spousal support, child support and to develop parenting plans.

Parents and teens can make use of mediation to work out behavioral issues. Aging parents and adult children may resolve disagreements over medical treatment, housing choices, perhaps even estate provisions. Employees and employers can use mediation to resolve conflicts in the workplace.

WHAT IS THE MEDIATORS ROLE?

A Mediator helps people negotiate a solution. The process is impartial, favouring no one. As your Mediator, I make suggestions about procedures that will help you to determine the matters that need to be resolved, and I help you identify personal and joint objectives, and encourage you to consider other possible options.

All of these discussions occur in a safe and open environment allowing for the real possibility for a detailed agreement to be reached. I do not give legal advice.

WHAT HAPPENS IN MEDIATION?

Initially, I will meet separately with each person to describe the process, and to discuss whether mediation is the correct process to use at this time. We will formulate the mediation process that is right for you and help each participant prepare for these sessions. Although lawyers may attend, you may decide that you do not need their attendance. During these meetings, I may suggest a brief and separate meeting with each participant.

In the joint mediation meeting, you agree on what problems and issues need to be addressed. I will assist you to express your own hopes, fears, concerns and desires and to hear those of the other participant. Creative options are explored and workable solutions selected. If requested, I prepare the agreement. I encourage you to review it with your lawyer as it is important to understand what the agreement means now and in the future. Sometimes we meet again to refine aspects of the agreement.

IS THE MEDIATION CONFIDENTIAL?

Yes, absolutely. As well, some matters discussed with one participant may be kept confidential from the other participant if it is reasonable and requested.

HOW TO PREPARE

Gather documents that provide the information relevant to the decisions that you have to make. If you are separating or divorcing, use your lawyer to assist in collecting the documents that you will need. Bring copies for me and your partner to the mediation. Think about and list what is important to you. Anticipate and list what you believe is important to the other person. Be ready to consider different ways to reach your goals.

In addition to the preliminary conferences, there is at least one joint mediation meeting. The time between meetings should be used to reflect upon what has been discussed, the tentative decisions reached, and for gathering any information for future sessions.

HOW MANY MEETINGS?

The number of meetings varies and is influenced by the level of emotion, the number of issues, and the complexity of each issue.

HOW LONG ARE THE MEETINGS?

Preliminary conferences last about one hour. Depending on the circumstances, joint meetings last for two hours, 1/2 day or an entire day.

HOW MUCH DOES MEDIATION COST?

Preliminary conferences are $100.00 for both parties. The Mediation session is $125.00 an hour