Does mediation work?

For the majority of people, mediation does work. However, mediation may not be appropriate in all cases, for example, when one or both parties are unwilling to cooperate.

Will mediation work if we are fighting all the time or not talking to each other?

Mediators help people understand their need to develop a civil and respectful relationship in order to reach mutually satisfying agreements. Mediation can improve communications, however it is not counselling.

How long does it take?

The number of sessions required depends on the number of issues to be resolved.

How much will it cost?

Mediation related to parenting plans is available free of charge through the Family Court system. Some family service agencies also provide mediation services as do private practitioners on a fee for service basis. This cost is usually shared by both parties. Mediation helps to reduce legal costs.

Is what I say in the mediation confidential?

Yes, if the parties agree. Mediators will not voluntarily disclose information obtained through the mediation process, subject to certain exceptions, such as when all parties consent, when the mediator is compelled to do so by law (for example, when a mediator has knowledge of or reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is in need of protection), and when there is an actual or potential threat to human life or safety.

Do mediators replace the need for lawyers?

No, even though some mediators are lawyers, a mediator does not provide separate legal advice. The mediator assists clients to create informed and mutually acceptable agreements which should then be reviewed by each party’s lawyer. This will ensure that your agreement follows federal and provincial laws, your rights are protected, and you understand what you sign.

How does mediation work?

The mediator usually meets with each party separately to get background information, to explain the mediation process and to determine if mediation is appropriate. Subsequent sessions are typically joint and focus on setting an agenda, creating options, and making decisions. The mediator then prepares for you a summary of the resolved issues.