The first step is to contact me so I can learn more about your current situation and how I may assist. Both parties need to agree to mediation so I will confirm with the other party that they are also interested in participating. Once I have confirmation from all parties that they wish to pursue mediation I will then book a pre-mediation meeting with each of you.
In pre-mediation I meet with each party separately to hear their perspective, learn about what they are hoping for and assisting them to identify the issues they wish to resolve in mediation. It also gives us a chance to identify any documentation or other preparation that will be required in order to address the identified issues in mediation. Pre-mediation is confidential.
My role is to be a neutral third party who facilitates a discussion between the parties to address the identified issues. I do not make decisions for you. During mediation my job is help keep things on track, to insure a respectful dialogue and to help each party to feel they are able to openly and honestly discuss the issues at hand and ideally come to an agreement.
I expect that everyone who comes to mediation comes with a sincere intention to resolve the identified issues. I ask that people come prepared to be honest and open with each other. Holding back information or details can make it difficult to reach an agreement or can impact the sustainability of an agreement. I ask that parties remain respectful of each other throughout the process. Please also come prepared with any documentation or other information that we have identified as necessary to assist in resolving issues.
Yes, mediation is a confidential process. What is said in mediation cannot be used in court. As your mediator I cannot be called as a witness. The only time I would need to share information is if I am required to do so by law, for example, if there was a child protection concern that came to light.
As your mediator I prepare your agreement in a document called a Memorandum of Understanding. It is not legally binding. I encourage parties to seek the advice of an independent legal counsel before signing. The document can become legally binding if you incorporate it into a court order or other legal document as advised by legal counsel.