What style of Mediation is right for my divorce?
Marcus M. Sixta, Mediator and Family Lawyer
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that allows parties to come to an agreement without going to court. There are several different styles of mediation, each with its own unique approach to resolving disputes. Evaluative, facilitative, and transformative mediation are three common styles that can be particularly useful for resolving family law disputes.
Evaluative mediation involves a mediator who helps the parties to assess their legal positions and the potential outcomes of going to court. The mediator may also provide the parties with information about the law and what a judge might decide in a similar case. This type of mediation is useful for parties who are unsure about their legal rights and want to have a better understanding of their options. One benefit of evaluative mediation is that it can help parties to make informed decisions about their legal rights and options. Another benefit is that it can be a more cost-effective and time-efficient alternative to going to court. However, one potential downside of evaluative mediation is that it may not be suitable for parties who are not interested in a legal resolution to their dispute.
Facilitative mediation focuses on helping the parties to communicate effectively and to find common ground. The mediator facilitates the conversation but does not provide legal advice or make decisions for the parties. This style of mediation is particularly useful for parties who want to preserve their relationship and are open to finding creative solutions to their disputes. One benefit of facilitative mediation is that it can help parties to find mutually satisfactory solutions to their disputes. Another benefit is that it can help to preserve relationships and avoid the negative effects of going to court. However, one potential downside of facilitative mediation is that it may not be suitable for parties who are not willing to compromise or who are not interested in finding a solution outside of the legal system.
Transformative mediation is a more recent development that focuses on helping the parties to address the underlying issues and emotions that are driving their conflict. The mediator works with the parties to identify their needs and interests and to find ways to transform the conflict into an opportunity for personal growth and healing. This style of mediation is particularly useful for parties who want to move beyond the conflict and find a way to move forward together. One benefit of transformative mediation is that it can help parties to address the underlying issues that are causing their conflict. Another benefit is that it can help parties to find ways to move forward together and build stronger relationships. However, one potential downside of transformative mediation is that it may not be suitable for parties who are not interested in addressing their underlying issues or who are not ready to move beyond the conflict.
Overall, evaluative, facilitative, and transformative mediation can all be useful for resolving family law disputes. Each style has its own unique approach and may be more or less appropriate depending on the specific needs and goals of the parties. Mediation can help parties to resolve their disputes in a more cost-effective and time-efficient manner than going to court, and it can also help to preserve relationships and find mutually satisfactory solutions. However, it is important for parties to carefully consider which style of mediation is most suitable for their needs and to choose a mediator who is experienced in that style.
Beyond the style employed by the mediator, there are several other criteria that someone should consider when choosing a mediator to help them resolve a family law dispute:
Experience: It is important to choose a mediator who has experience mediating family law disputes. This will ensure that the mediator is familiar with the types of issues that are commonly encountered in these cases and is better equipped to help the parties find a resolution.
Training: Look for a mediator who has received training in family law mediation. Your mediator should have a good understanding of the legal and emotional issues involved in family law cases and how to handle them effectively.
Reputation: Consider the reputation of the mediator. Look for a mediator who has a good reputation in the community and who is known for being fair and impartial.
Availability: Make sure that the mediator is available to meet at a time that is convenient for you. Consider factors such as location and availability during evenings and weekends, if necessary. Also, consider if you would like to mediate by way of video conference as some mediators are more comfortable than others at mediating online.
Cost: Consider the cost of the mediation. Mediation can be an affordable alternative to going to court, but it is still important to consider your budget and to choose a mediator who is within your price range.
It is also a good idea to meet with a few different mediators before making a decision. This will allow you to get a sense of their style and approach and to choose the one who you feel most comfortable working with.
The family law mediators at Crossroads Law Vancouver and Calgary have experience with many different family law issues and are adept at mediating online through Zoom or MS Teams. Our mediators all have extensive training in mediation and also have vast litigation experience so they understand the law behind the disputes they encounter. Contact us now for your free consultation.