Each parent in the mediation process should have independent legal advice. Independent lawyers will ensure that you thoroughly understand your rights and your responsibilities and the decisions you make. Lawyers will also be required to prepare your Separation Agreement using the Mediation Report. All parents using the Collaborative process will have a collaboratively trained family lawyer.
It is quite common for either parent or the mediator to request a short private meeting. This is called a caucus. A caucus may be useful to help manage intense emotions or to clarify information. Regardless of who requests a caucus, each of you will have the opportunity to speak in private with Caroline.
The time required to complete mediation varies depending on the number of issues in dispute and the overall complexity of the situation. At a minimum there will be two individual sessions and one joint session. Individual sessions typically last one hour and joint session last between 2 and 3 hours.
Mediation is only one option available to separating or divorcing couples. Should you be unable to resolve some or all of your disputes through mediation you can pursue lawyer led negotiation, arbitration or a court process.
Yes, mediation can be used to resolve new areas of disagreement or to revise plans so they better meet the changed needs of your family. Many separating couples include a clause in their agreement stipulating they will return to mediation in the future if they can’t resolve a disagreement.