FAMILY MEDIATION

Divorce and separation is never easy and this is often the worst period of a family's life.  


Mediation is a voluntary process in which Stephen is a neutral third party who assists the parents negotiate an agreement.  Stephen will be a facilitator and will assist in promoting respectful and productive communication.  


Mediation gives separating couples a more affordable and peaceful way to quickly and efficiently separate, without damaging dignity or children.  The demand for mediation has never been greater with the courts in Ontario often suggesting or ordering the parents to use mediation in order to resolve their parenting issues.  


The Mediation Process


Once both parties have indicated their willingness to mediate, Stephen will meet with each party individually prior to commencing the first joint session. He does this to explain the process with the participants, to determine each party’s perspective on the issues to be resolved and to begin to identify possible resolutions.  He will also consider whether mediation is appropriate and whether any safeguards need to be put into place to address power imbalances.


At the first joint session, the parties first decision which they make is to determine if the mediation shall be open or closed and they will sign the agreement to mediate.  Ground rules for communication are established, issues are identified and options are explored.  


The number of sessions required depends on several factors and sometimes the parties may wish to seek legal advice as to the implications of their choices.  They may also need to gather information that will help to identify solutions and narrow the issues.


Once an agreement is reached, Stephen shall draft a memorandum of agreement and will review it with the parties.  The parties are encouraged to seek independent legal advice during the process as needed and their respective lawyers shall make it a legally binding document called a separation agreement. 


Stephen offers financial mediation services in collaboration with a financial divorce specialist.  This individual will assist parents with division of assets, finances or child support. 





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'Candy Hands",

created by Emily Cross age 9 years