Content and procedure for the mediation session
The following topics may be discussed during a mediation session :
- The sharing of parental responsibilities :
- Parental authority (important decisions concerning the children: health, religion, education...).
- Custody time and access rights.
- Sharing of financial responsibilities (child support payments).
- The division of property, including the family patrimony and other patrimonial rights resulting from the marriage.
- The division of property acquired jointly while the couple were living together.
- Financial support provided by one spouse for the other (in the case of a marriage or civil union, or in the case of a de facto union if support was provided for in a cohabitation contract).
Mediation sessions require the presence of both parents and a mediator or, if the parents agree, two mediators known as co-mediators. Other people may also be present if the parents consent and if the mediator considers that their presence is required, provided they are not acting as experts in the dispute involved and are not the legal representative of either parent.
Phases of the mediation process
The mediation process covers the following topics :
- changes in the parents’ situation;
- recognition of the parents’ and children’s needs;
- the search for options to resolve the conflict;
- an analysis of each option;
- the choice of a "single" solution for each topic;
- the drafting of a summary of all the points on which agreement has been reached;
- the forwarding of the mediator’s report.
First, the family situation is presented to assess whether mediation is relevant.
Second, whatever the topics submitted for mediation, your needs and those of your children will be clearly established and identified.
Third, the mediator will help you find various settlement options. The mediator will rely on your creativity and, in some cases, may point out other options. An analysis of the range of options available will form the basis for a report on needs and options in order to focus on a solution.
When an agreement is reached, the mediator will give you a summary, along with a recommendation that you consult a qualified professional to obtain independent advice, whether legal or not, and information about the steps that must be taken to draft proceedings that can be certified by the court or homologated by the special clerk, as the case may be.
Last, the mediator will forward a report to the family mediation service (Service de médiation familiale) setting out only the topics covered by the agreement, such as custody, access rights, the division of property and support payments.