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Older adults walking by a lake
Older adults walking by a lake

Mediation

Accredited Family and Intergenerational Mediation

Family Mediation

What is Family mediation?

Mediation is a discussion to help write a contract together. The mediator does not give advice, take sides, or make judgments. Instead, think of a mediator as a coach on a team, who helps team members work together to achieve their personal best.

Discussions are confidential and participation is voluntary.

Where court can result in harming family relationships, mediation can bring them together.

What is an accredited family mediator?

The designation “Accredited Family Mediator’ (AccFM) protects consumers by setting standards and granting accreditation only to mediators who have completed a rigorous program of education, training and internship.

It is recognized by the Ministry of the Attorney General and in the Family Court System and is only available through the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM).

Chris is an Accredited Family Mediator and member of OAFM Ottawa.

INTERGENERATIONAL MEDIATION

What is intergenerational mediation?

Intergenerational mediation is future focused.

It is different from family mediation. It can involve discussion not just of the family members, but also that of friends, neighbours, religious groups, civic groups, thus creating an entire circle of care for an older person.

Intergenerational mediation can help improve, preserve, and even restore relationships. It can be a way of dealing with issues that the legal system cannot, for example, family history and dynamics, interpersonal conflict, and quality-of-life choices.

Why intergenerational mediation?

As the needs of our greying population grow, Canada is poised for burgeoning numbers of multigenerational families and new challenges from concerns over

  • safety
  • health
  • caregiving responsibilities
  • housing
  • long-term care needs, and/or
  • finances.

Intergenerational mediators have developed people skills and acute listening skills, and use inclusive language. In a family conflict involving different generations, they use those skills to de-escalate the emotions between family members.

Research is showing that families who participate in mediation report positive outcomes, enhanced quality of life (through enhanced safety, security, dignity, and respect), improvement of fragile relationships, and reduced or prevented incidents of elder abuse and neglect.

MEDIATION PROCESS

Step 1 — Your First Call

If you and your spouse wish to mediate using my services, each of you will contact me separately by phone. I will schedule separate intake meetings with each party.

As a mediator, I can only provide legal information, not advice. Your right to get Independent Legal Advice is also a key element of a successful agreement, so I will explain Independent Legal Advice and how to get it.

Step 2 — Individual Intake Meetings

Your intake meeting takes about an hour. Together, we will explore your hopes and concerns. I will go over formalities, such as what the mediation contract looks like.

If finances are involved, I will give you a list of what documents you must gather for the first joint meeting.  This is called financial disclosure.

You may also need to get the help of other experts.  For example,

  • a pension might need an expert valuation or a retirement income tax projection;
  • a business might need one or more expert valuations; or
  • your real estate might need a certified appraisal.

I will guide you.

Step 3 – Joint Meetings

You don’t need to have a lawyer with you, but you can.

Your mediator is a not a decision-maker. Rather, your mediator is a facilitator who guides your decisions by helping your discussion in many different ways. It takes effort, but the savings in time and money are worth it, giving you control over your own futures and families.

You will need on average 3-4 sessions to reach your final agreement (more, for more complex situations; less, for simpler situations). Each session is a half day.  Sessions are usually spread over a number of months.

Step 4 – Your contract

At the end, I provide you with your binding and enforceable legal contract.

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