FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is mediation?
It is a process in which an impartial third party facilitates communication and negotiation and promotes voluntary decision making by the parties to the dispute.
Definition: Mediation is a process in which parties are helped by a neutral third party or parties to explore possibilities of resolving issues between themselves by mutual agreement without adjudication.

Do I have to attend mediation?
No – it is a voluntary process.

How long is a session usually?
Between 60-120 minutes

What issues can be mediated?
Any civil, family or commercial matter can be mediated – in fact any dispute of any nature can be mediated. Mediation is a creative dispute resolution mechanism and can be successfully applied to assist parties in any dispute that needs to be resolved.

What is arbitration?
It is the process in which the submission of a dispute to one or more impartial person – the arbitrator – is made for a final and binding decision known as an “award”.

Does mediation fail if we do not reach a settlement agreement?
No! Mediation serves various purposes, including providing the opportunity for parties to define and clarify the issues, to understand different perspectives, explore and assess possible solutions and an opportunity for the parties to communicate with each other.

How long does mediation take?
The number of sessions will depend on the nature of the dispute. Generally it is 3 to 6 sessions that are required.

Mediation Fees - who pays?
The payment is generally shared between the parties equally, alternatively as agreed upon by the parties.

When do we pay?
The cost for the mediation session is payable upfront or at the end of each session.

Do I have to continue with mediation?
The process can be terminated at any stage, by either party should the parties feel that mediation is inappropriate or that no further progress can be made.

We both have attorneys - why should we spend more money on yet another professional?
It is difficult for attorneys to take care of their clients needs and play the role of a mediator. In litigation the attorneys do most of the negotiating and the parties do not experience direct communication with each other. There is no way of the parties finding common ground or agreement. Each attorney has a mandate to negotiate the best settlement. Mediation will improve your chances of settlement and encourage interaction between the parties which is an essential component for co-parenting. Mediation can be a transformative experience that may actually improve the interaction and lives of the family members involved.

Can the mediator give legal advice?
No – a neutral mediator will not give legal advice. Mediators can give legal information, but clients should obtain individual legal advice from an independent attorney.