General Mediation Process
The primary objectives of mediation are to enable and empower the parties to negotiate and resolve the dispute promptly, cost effectively, and confidentially rather than have a decision imposed upon them by a judge or arbitrator.
Mediation is a consensual, confidential, and informal negotiation process in which parties to a dispute use the services of a skilled and independent mediator to assist them to define the issues in dispute, develop and explore settlement options, assess the implications of settlement options, and negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement of that dispute which meets their interests and needs.
Mediation enables the parties to negotiate flexible and creative solutions which need not conform to strict legal rights or general community standards.
A mediation session is a private meeting involving all parties to the dispute that is guided by your mediator. In some circumstances a meeting may not be appropriate and the mediation could be held by phone or video conferencing (such as Skype).
During the session, everyone will have time to talk about their concerns – each party will have equal opportunity to be heard. The mediator may make some suggestions, and may talk to you individually. You will also have a few breaks in between, or you may call for a “time out” should you want a break to get your thoughts together privately, with your mediator or support person.
We usually advise clients that session(s) may take a few hours. Given the complexities of family disputes, you may require more than one session.
You do not need to be legally represented to participate in mediation, and in many cases parties are not. This also keeps costs down and can result in a less intimidating environment.
This is not to say that you cannot be represented, however, in many situations legal representation from the right people can facilitate a healthy discussion and ensure the rights of all parties are being protected.
Essentially it’s a personal decision you will need to make based on your situation and circumstances.
We don’t place time limits on the mediation process or what is covered in mediation sessions, and find that trying to fit family conflicts into a set of boxes simply doesn’t work. We understand that there may be multiple issues going on for a family so our services are structured to reflect this and your mediator may suggest extra time would be beneficial.
Our mediators are proven experts in their field, bringing empathy as well as structure to your discussions, and of course, confidentiality.
Any special cultural, disability and language needs will be accommodated.
I felt I was listened to and my concerns were validated and supported.