How it Starts:
Mediation and Collaborative Family Law are most successful when you are prepared and fully able to express your needs, your goals and your concerns. Caroline always begins with a private meeting with each parent. Through this private meeting she learns about the conflicts you had, your priorities and your readiness to make decisions. This meeting is an opportunity for you to confidentially share any concerns you may have about the process, the other parent or your own ability to participate in negotiations.
It is at this point that Mediation and Collaborative Practice diverge.
Caroline uses her years of experience, training and warmth to help you and your former spouse negotiate and build the parenting arrangements needed for life after separation. After private individual intake meetings, you will attend joint mediation sessions, where Caroline supports you to:
More than one joint session may be necessary before agreement is reached on all of the issues. Caroline will draft a Meditation Report and review it with you to ensure it accurately reflects the decisions you have made together. You then review a copy of the Mediation Report with your lawyer. The lawyers will craft a Separation Agreement or other contractual document, which reflects the decisions made in mediation and detailed in the Mediation Report.
Collaborative family law is a lesser known but very effective way of negotiating a separation agreement. You and your spouse retain collaborative lawyers and all of you commit to respectful, fully informed discussions. Caroline is part of the collaborative law team. Acting as a family professional she guides you through conversations about your parenting arrangements and prepares a draft parenting plan that will be finalized, after consultation with your lawyers, in a separation agreement.
In some circumstances, Caroline will act as a neutral professional, supporting lawyers and clients during challenging discussions. Caroline ensures the process is balanced, emotions are managed and the negotiations are considerate and productive.
Voice of the Child Services
Every parent Caroline has worked with believes that they intimately know and understand their child or teen’s needs, preferences and concerns. And yet, all of the parents she has worked with have some disagreement about these very things. For families not in a court process, Caroline offers an evidence-based and comfortable means to meet with children and adolescents. Through the use of drawing, picture cards and other tools, Caroline creates an opportunity for children and teens to openly talk about their separation related experiences, hopes and worries. With care and thought, Caroline shares the child or teen’s message with you and supports you to hearing and respond your children’s views. Hearing from a child or teen helps you bridge gaps in your awareness, shines soft light on your blind spots and affirms your strengths. An informed understanding of your children’s views and preferences will ground and guide your post-separation parenting plan.
Caroline offers brief consultation services to parents struggling with specific issues. For example, Caroline will provide guidance on:
If you have questions regarding your specific needs, please contact Caroline for more information.
Child Protection Mediation
Caroline provides mediation services to families involved with one of the city’s child protection agencies. As an experienced, neutral professional, Caroline supports family members, kinship caregivers, the child protection agency and other relevant people to move past disagreements and make lasting plans in the best interest of children. Mediation can reduce conflict between parents, extended family members, foster parents and the agency to create care and access plans for children residing away from their parents. There is no fee for Child Protection Mediation services.