Mediation is a form of dispute resolution for couples who seek to resolve their family issues out of court, through the use of a neutral and skilled mediator. Closed mediation is a confidential process that ensures the family's personal and financial matters are kept out of the public court setting.
Specially trained lawyer mediators have the legal knowledge to effectively facilitate and evaluate negotiations between the parties over all issues of a separation including, parenting, support and property issues. However, no legal advice is provided to the parties by the mediator and each party should obtain their own independent legal advice (ILA) before, during and after mediation.
The lawyer mediator can prepare agreements but they cannot be finalized without each party obtaining their own ILA. Each party should still have their own family lawyer to advise them before signing any agreement.
Mediation is a voluntary process that is informed and requires exchange of financial disclosure between the parties. Power imbalances are assessed and managed. Unlike in court, parties in mediation focus on global interests instead of fixed positions. Settlement through mediation will reduce time and save parties from the financial cost and acrimony of court.
Unlike in arbitration and court, mediators do not make decisions, judgements or orders. Therefore, agreements reached through mediation must be on consent of both parties. Mediation is beneficial as it provides a reality check for parties who would otherwise end up in court. For parties who are in court, mediation is still an option for those who seek settlement before trial. Mediation sessions can occur with or without lawyers present, depending on the complexity of the matter.
Lien Family Law can help mediate the family law issues between you and your spouse or former partner.