Frequently Asked Questions
At Hartford Mediation your mediation is a fair, safe, confidential, and affordable way to resolve difficult problems. Hartford Mediation is ready to assist lawyers and their clients to creatively settle the toughest issues with as little conflict as possible.
Not every disagreement requires going to court. Mediation is an excellent alternative to having a judge or a third party step in to resolve family relationship issues.
Why use mediation?
Mediation respects the needs of each person and empowers each to resolve all aspects of the dispute in a way that is best for them.
Family mediation ensures that parents stay focused on the needs of their children. It is less adversarial, less stressful and less expensive than going to court. Research shows that people who use mediation are usually more satisfied with both the process and the outcome than people who use the courts to resolve their disputes.
How does the mediation process work?
1. Each person completes a Confidential Intake Form.
2. Each person has an individual and confidential intake meeting with the Mediator. We will review your intake form; you can ask questions, and we will discuss what issues you want to resolve through mediation.
3. Decide if mediation is right for you. Mediation is not the best process for everyone. We will want to know if you are both ready to mediate, if you have the information you need, if the process will be legally, emotionally and physically safe, and if there are any steps that need to be taken before you can start.
4. Each person signs an Agreement to Mediate.
5. Mediation with both partners. Both parties meet together with the mediator for one or more sessions to help you negotiate a settlement of the issues that are important to you and your children.
5. The mediator completes a Mediation Agreement.
7. You take the Mediation Agreement to your lawyer who incorporates it into your domestic contract.
What is a Mediator’s Role?
A mediator is a resource, and may be a source of legal information.
The mediator ensures that the negotiations are safe, fair, and appropriate. The mediator keeps the negotiations focused on finding solutions while respecting the history behind the issues and the emotions that arise.
Mediators are highly skilled at helping people in distress communicate better.
A mediator provides a fair and safe process for people to assess their needs, stay focused, communicate effectively, and find a satisfactory outcome. Mediators are neutral towards all parties but directive when it comes to ensuring the process is fair and balanced.
A mediator will help parties work out proposed solutions to ensure they are realistic and workable.
A mediator cannot give legal advice.
How do I prepare for mediation?
Be ready to negotiate. Your lawyer will already have explained any legal aspects around your issues. Now get creative! If you have ideas, proposals, solutions that you want to bring forward feel free to write them down in advance, or be ready to discuss them. Think about what range of options you could agree to, and your “bottom line.”
There may be times when experts need to be consulted during the mediation process. Accountants, doctors, teachers, guidance councillors, therapists, daycare staff, bus lines. Often times we need to seek out expert opinions to determine what is in the best interest of your child.
How much does Mediation cost?
Mediation is less expensive than a long court battle. The mediator’s hourly fee is less than that of a lawyer and is divided between the two parties; and since mediation typically takes less than ten hours, it is an efficient method of resolving issues.
Financial assistance is available to eligible clients.
What is Parenting Coordination?
You are no longer a couple but will continue to co-parent long after legal documents are signed.
Small, day-to-day matters can become surprisingly complicated when two homes, new partners, and busy schedules are involved.
A Parenting Coordinator will assist in negotiating the exciting “new normal” dynamics of your parenting arrangements. The PC will provide ongoing support and negotiation to minimize conflict.
What issues can a PC help with?
A PC can help in negotiating almost any issue. It may be as significant as the decision to vaccinate, or as mundane as school lunches.
A Parenting Coordinator can assist with scheduling, deciding on extracurricular activities, age-appropriate limits, behaviour expectations, special expenses, when to introduce new partners to children, or whatever issue is important to your family.
We excel at coaching particularly divisive couples on developing healthy boundaries, exploring ways of communicating, and developing a respectful, productive co-parenting arrangement.
How do I get started?
Contact Hartford Mediation by phone or email and we will get things started! We will assist your family in negotiating ongoing issues so you can move on sooner.