What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party helps couples who are separating reach mutually beneficial agreements. Mediation allows the parties to maintain control over their lives, voluntarily negotiating the terms of their separation in a way that’s best for them.

With the support of a mediator, couples work together, with each of the parties having a chance to ‘tell their story’ in a controlled, respectful manner. The mediator doesn’t make decisions for them but helps them come to decisions that result in sustainable agreements in their best interests and those of their children.

How does it work?

The mediation process is driven largely by the parties, though it typically involves:

  • initial sessions in which the mediator meets with each party separately
  • identification of individual and common interests
  • joint meetings in which the parties work through an agenda set by them and explore settlement options
  • appropriate experts, if necessary, to assist with child- or property-related issues
  • a Separation Agreement prepared for the parties to take to their own lawyers for review

What exactly does the mediator do?
  • encourages collaboration and negotiation in a positive environment that allows the parties to become empowered
  • educates the parties and helps identify their interests and needs
  • facilitates dialogue and creative problem-solving
  • screens for safety and security of the parties
  • helps them reach a mutual, long-lasting agreement
  • if the mediator is a lawyer, prepares the Separation Agreement

© 2008 Milka Vujnovic

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