Category Archives: Family Mediation

A Good Case for Family Mediators: Justice Sherr in L.B. and P. E.

As family mediators, we work “in the shadow of the law”. Our job is to help parties reach agreements that are better for them than their alternatives… meaning mediators must know what a court would do with a given situation. We also must put the interests of children first, and decline to mediate parenting outcomes that we believe will not …
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The Promise of Family Mediation-Arbitration: Is it Real?

The crisis in access to family law justice has led to many great things happening outside of court. Collaborative practice, for example, has grown from disenchantment with the adversarial legal system’s assumption that positional bargaining necessarily protects the interest of parents and their children. Family mediation has become the go-to solution for both the public– seeking to avoid paying lawyers– …
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How to Help Your Clients Prepare for a Negotiation – Part 2 of 4

The mediator’s first job is to assess whether the proposed negotiation is suitable for all, is feasible, and can proceed in accordance with the guiding principle of “do no harm”. In this 4-part blog series, we will explore some questions mediators can review with clients before starting a mediation: PART 2 – IDENTIFY THE TERMS OF THE NEGOTIATION PROCESS Define …
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How to Help Your Clients Prepare for a Negotiation – Part 1 of 4

The mediator’s first job is to assess whether the proposed negotiation is suitable for all, is feasible, and can proceed in accordance with the guiding principle of “do no harm”. In this 4-part blog series, we will explore some questions mediators can review with clients before starting a mediation: PART 1 – INITIAL ASSESSMENT Do you really want to negotiate? …
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Conflict Analysis: What Is The Difference Between a “Conflict” and a “Dispute”? (and Why It Helps to Understand the Difference)

An early challenge for the family mediator is to help the client organize their thinking so that they clearly understand why they are coming to mediation, what they need to resolve and what they can let go or resolve later or in a different way. Mediators need tools to help them do this effectively. MORE

Top Ten Questions about Screening for Power Imbalances and Domestic Violence in Mediation and Arbitration

1.What is “Screening”? Screening is a triaging process that has been used by mediators for years to help them provide safe and balanced mediations. The mediator meets separately with each party, before agreeing to take the case, and elicits specific information that will help the mediator “diagnose” their complex relationship dynamic. The main purpose is to ascertain whether bringing the …
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Family Mediation in Cape Town, South Africa

In late September, the Family Mediators’ Association of the Cape (FAMAC) hosted its third bi-annual conference and I was honoured to be a returning international guest speaker. This year I spoke on “Empowering Parents Through Interest-Based Mediation and Facilitative Parenting Coordination”.   (Note: all the conference presentations are available on the FAMAC website) The Conference was opened by my wonderful …
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When is Family Mediation Appropriate?

When is family mediation appropriate? Mediation is probably appropriate when all/most of the following conditions exist: The parties appear to both be willing to try mediation in order to find an acceptable settlement. Each party is able to articulate to the mediator his or her own positions and the reasons behind those positions. Both advise that they feel they will be …
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