Mediation helps parties reach resolutions that are tailored to their and their families’ individual needs.
Mediation usually involves compromises by both parties. It is a voluntary process whereby parties attempt, with the assistance of a mediator, to negotiate their own resolution of matters between them. Such a resolution can include any or all of parenting, child support, spousal support, and family property issues. The mediator is a neutral and impartial third-party who is trained to facilitate the discussion. The mediator and the parties will meet privately and talk about the issues. Parties are given full opportunities to express their views. The mediator ensures that all discussions are balanced and respectful, and helps the parties focus on potential solutions.
Mediation is known to be an accessible and affordable process. Mediation can be less expensive, quicker and less stressful than other more formal dispute resolution options such as the court process. Agreements reached in mediation are legally binding once they are signed by both parties. Many people who use mediation are able to negotiate a settlement and can avoid going to court. When children are involved, former spouses usually continue to have a co-parenting relationship after divorce or separation. Mediation can help develop better channels of communication in this regard, and can help build a new and appropriate relationship.
There are many “types” of mediators. “Family Law Mediators” are lawyers who have completed extensive training in family law mediation that is accepted by the Law Society of British Columbia.