Mediation: nature and goals
Family mediation is a conflict resolution method in which an impartial mediator helps the spouses negotiate a fair and viable agreement that meets the needs of each family member and to which free and enlightened consent is given.
This reasoned approach to negotiation allows the needs of each party, whether the children or the parents, to be explored in depth, analyzes various settlement options, and allows the participants to select the solution that offers the best protection for the interests of all family members.
The mediator does not make any decisions on your behalf or offer an opinion. However, the mediator may suggest that you seek help from a specialist to deal with a specific dispute, such as a property assessor or a lawyer to provide legal advice, or a psychosocial expert to assess any difficulties your children may have.
Family mediation helps reduce conflicts in connection with an application for custody, access and outing rights, support payments or the division of property. In addition, it helps parents take responsibility for the decision-making process.
At any time, you may suspend the mediation process on your own initiative or at the suggestion of the mediator, to seek advice from your lawyer or any other person you choose.
In some situations, such as situations involving domestic violence, family mediation is unlikely to be appropriate but may proceed if certain conditions are complied with.
Nature of mediation
Mediation can be comprehensive or partial. It allows former spouses to settle their differences with respect to child custody, support payments and the division of property, covering some (partial mediation) or all (comprehensive mediation) of these topics.
Mediation is confidential and takes place behind closed doors. Nothing revealed during a mediation session can be used as evidence in court. The mediator’s report mentions only the presence of the parties and the questions where an agreement has been reached, and provides no other information.
Although this site was designed for parents, most of the information it contains is relevant to couples without common dependent children who are eligible for the family mediation pilot project.