Mediation- To Mediate or Not to Mediate- That is the Question?!
I am asked every week from parents and lawyers whether a case would be appropriate for mediation or not. Although the question is simple and straightforward in nature, the answer regrettably is not. Generally, mediation is the most cost-effective and least intrusive of all services offered after a separation and divorce.
Mediation is a process in which an accredited mediator works with parents who are newly separated or soon to be separated and need a Parenting Plan. The parents may disagree over custody and access arrangements that they would like to see for their children.
Generally, parents who are not high conflict in nature are good candidates for this process as there needs to be some reasonable communication skills and goodwill between them.
The mediator will facilitate communication and decisions in regard to your child's needs and will help you achieve an agreement in relation to issues of custody and access and time-sharing. They will help develop a Parenting Plan that is tailored to your family’s needs and most notably to your children’s unique needs and developmental stages. Prior to the completion of the Parenting Plan, the mediator will request that each parent has the plan vetted by their lawyer or taken to an independent family lawyer prior to signing off on the Plan.
Through individual and joint meetings, the mediator will help you develop a parenting plan, and can bridge the differences between parents while keeping in mind a child-focused approach that is tailored to the developmental needs of the children as they age and grow. At the completion of the mediation process, the mediator will provide each parent and their respective lawyers with a detailed document of protocols for separated parents, where it outlines all custody and access matters.