Getting Started in Family Mediation, Arbitration, Mediation-Arbitration, Parenting Coordination or Third Party Screening
Now that you have read the material on this website, here is what you need to do to get started in family mediation, family arbitration, family mediation-arbitration, third party screening for family arbitration or parenting coordination:
Please read the appropriate agreement:
- Family Agreement to Mediate
- Family Arbitration Agreement
- Consent to Third Party Screening
- Parenting Coordination Agreement
Seek independent legal advice if you have any questions about the agreement.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If the process you seek is family arbitration or parenting coordination, note that you must receive independent legal advice and must attend for an individual meeting before you can sign the agreement. Even if you have an agreement or court order for arbitration or parenting coordination, both parties must attend an individual meeting/screening for suitability, by law, before they can enter into a binding agreement for parenting coordination or family arbitration.
Complete the appropriate confidential intake form for:
- Family Mediation or Mediation-Arbitration
- Third-Party Screening for Family Arbitration
- Parenting Coordination
and send it to us, preferably using the gravity forms on the website and sending it to us using our secure website.
Please send us the signing page of the Agreement if you are seeking mediation or third party screening.
If you choose to download a PDF and send it to us by email, please mail to [email protected] We ask that you kindly passcode protect it to protect your privacy.
These forms are not intended to be shared with anyone but us.
2. Individual Meeting
Please check the calendar for the professional with whom you wish to work and request a date for an individual meeting that suits your schedule by emailing that professional.
Once we have the appropriate intake forms from both clients, we will set up your respective individual meetings. A meeting usually lasts from one to 1.5 hours. Unless otherwise provided, we charge a flat, one hour rate for individual meetings.
Individual meetings are confidential and without prejudice. Counsel may attend but are not required to attend. You may bring a family member or support person if you wish.
The individual meeting helps us assess if mediation, med-arb or parenting coordination, as the case may be, is an appropriate process choice for you and your family. It helps us identify any steps we feel should be taken before the matter can proceed. In the case of third party screening, the meeting is the mandatory first step of the family arbitration process.
Important note: it is our responsibility to assess whether a matter is appropriate for the process requested. Even if you, the other party, your lawyers or a judge has recommended a particular dispute resolution process for you, until you have met with the professional for an individual meeting, it is not possible to know whether that is a good choice for you and your family. We may choose to not accept cases we feel are not well-suited to the process requested.
Important note about third-party screening: If we are conducting a third-party screening, it is our job to advise the arbitrator of our views about the suitability of the process for the circumstances. These recommendations are made in confidence to the arbitrator and will not be shared with anyone.
After your individual meetings, and assuming everyone agrees to proceed, the mediation, mediation-arbitration or parenting coordination process will start.
Note: Riverdale Mediation offers learning opportunities for apprentice mediators. There may be an apprentice observing your meeting. All apprentices have taken family mediation, arbitration and/or parenting coordination training and are often experienced family law or mental health professionals. Their role is to observe, take notes for their own learning and later share their observations with the professional. Our apprentices are required, by contract, to maintain the same level of confidentiality and discretion with respect to our clients as we are.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
3. Bring a credit card or cheque
We do not require retainers for our individual meetings nor for third party screening meetings.
And we do not require retainers for mediation. We only ask that you pay your share of the fee owing at the end of each meeting.
Note: We generally do request deposits for family arbitration and parenting coordination.