ROLES OF THE MEDIATOR IN FAMILY LAW

Mediator

Mediation is a method to settle disagreements between couples. The mediator is typically a neutral lawyer or a trained professional. We encourage families to use the role of a mediator in family law cases to help settle their marriage issues. Additionally, mediation can be used for children’s custody problems or any other conflicts instead of family law courts. 

Most unhappy couples either come to a settlement on their own or with the help of mediators. The role of a mediator has major importance in resolving disputes and family law matters in Canada.

Mediation roles

Mediation is a type of Alternate Dispute Resolution or ‘ADR’. An ADR is a means to resolve a dispute other than to go to court. A trained, impartial mediator assists the parties in reaching agreements on many family law issues. These issues include parenting arrangements, child support, spousal support, and property division. Mediation roles include assisting each party to address their needs and concerns during the mediation phase. Allowing the parties to compromise to resolve the problems in appropriate situations is another role of the mediator. If you and your partner are unable to come to an understanding, a mediator might be able to help you better negotiate an agreement.

A mediator, unlike a judge, doesn’t force solutions on people but helps them find their solutions to their problems. Many mediators are also lawyers but not all. Whether the mediator is a lawyer in a family law case or not, they should possess special training in family dynamics and family law matters.  Families facing challenges such as divorce, separation, child custody, have access to meet with a mediator to discuss these matters. You can reach a settlement through mediation which focuses on your child and avoids going to court. Mediation within the family is confidential and informal.

How can a mediator help?

Family conflicts most frequently arise where there is a dramatic change. Separation of parents, formation of blended families, and an aging parent’s desire to move to a residential facility are examples of family conflicts. However, conflicts may also arise if a teenager has been acting out, a parent has developed an addiction and is not available to care for a child.  These changes tend to be very stressful, people stop listening to each other and fail to reach a settlement.

Mediators are trained to: 

  • resolve the dispute safely and look for signs of partner abuse; 
  • not pick sides when working with partners with conflicting interests; 
  • help each partner to see the other’s point of view; 
  • help partners to agree when they see similar interests and concerns;

Families use mediation largely to resolve issues of custody and access. Nevertheless, couples are increasingly using mediation programs to help settle on all family-related issues including property division, and issues of spousal and child support.

Kazembe & Associates can help you understand your legal rights and ensure that your interests are protected if you’re about to separate or have recently separated from your partner.

We recommend that you get the legal advice that is right for you.

If you are considering representing yourself as a matter of family law, our experienced family lawyers and mediators can provide you with information, legal assistance, advice, and practical tips to help you prepare your case and improve your results.

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