What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process in which you have the opportunity to listen to and talk with another person, share information, consider each other’s perspectives and make voluntary, informed decisions with the assistance and support of a mediator. The mediator, who is impartial, will not make decisions for you.
How does someone come to mediation?
People can be referred from another agency or they can contact the service directly and our staff will contact the other party.
What happens if one party refuses to mediate?
Mediation is voluntary and can only progress if both parties agree. The service respects the decision of each party in choosing whether mediation is right for him/her.
Do mediators listen to both sides and make a decision?
No, mediators do not decide the outcome. Mediators facilitate the conversation between the parties, so the parties can make decisions about the issues.
Is a mediation agreement binding?
A mediation agreement is is not legally binding. However, if both parties agree it is possible to have an agreement written in a way that enables the parties to obtain a consent order in court.
What about confidentiality?
All communication during intake and in a mediation session is confidential to the service except where there are child protection concerns; where someone is in immediate danger, or where someone has financially benefited from a crime.
Will mediators give suggestions as to how we can resolve our conflict?
The mediator’s primary role is to assist the parties in their discussion, so they are able to hear each other and decide how they wish to address the conflict. If the parties are completely stuck and have no ideas about what to do, the mediator might make some suggestions but the parties decide if they want to explore them further. Often, that will get the parties coming up with other ideas for themselves. The mediator may also share information if it is something the parties are unaware of and it is relevant to the discussion they are having. Ultimately, it is the parties’ decision as to what is best for their situation. The mediators facilitate that discovery.
Do I need a case pending in court to request mediation?
No. Anyone can call the service to request mediation at any point.
What types of conflicts can be addressed in mediation?
Mediation can help with a wide range of issues that arise when a relationship is over, such as care and welfare arrangements for children and/or the division of assets.
We've tried to talk already. Why should we mediate?
Some people find it helpful to have a mediator present who is impartial and trained to help people have a conversation. Sometimes things change as a result of a mediated conversation.
How much does mediation cost?
Mediation is offered at no cost for people eligible for legal aid, otherwise, there is a sliding fee scale depending on income. Please call the service for specific information on fees.