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Family Mediation

Donna Soules has mediated many family conflicts since she began her practice in 1993. She assists parties to resolve issues of parenting plans and division of assets.

Initially, a pre-mediation session is arranged separately with each party prior to the mediation to:

  • determine the appropriateness of the issues
  • assess the willingness of all parties to mediate
  • provide an opportunity to meet the mediator
  • explain the mediation process and the mediator's role
  • discuss difficult issues
  • assess any concerns of each party
  • determine the ability of each party to negotiate a fair agreement
  • design an agenda of topics to discuss

Once the pre-mediation session is complete and the appropriateness of the mediation is determined, a three-hour session is scheduled.

The length of time needed to successfully complete a mediation depends on a number of factors:

  • the number of issues to be resolved.
  • the emotional readiness of the participants.
  • the amount of preparation each party has completed to bring to the sessions.
  • the willingness of the parties to reach an agreement.
  • the ability of each party to negotiate a fair agreement, with the assistance of the mediator.

In family mediations, the participants are expected to:

  • participate
  • communicate openly and honestly
  • provide all relevant information
  • listen without interruption
  • keep an open mind
  • speak from their own perspectives by using "I" language
  • refrain from judging and blaming others
  • clarify assumptions
  • communicate respectfully

The mediator's role is to:

  • guide the process
  • provide a safe and supportive climate for the discussion of difficult issues
  • be neutral and not take sides
  • refrain from giving advice
  • focus on the agenda topics and keep the process on track
  • manage the emotional climate
  • assist people to listen and understand each other
  • help people follow the guidelines they have designed
  • support people to talk about difficult topics they wish to resolve
  • keep the interactions respectful
Agreement to Mediate Family Matters

(c)2002 Soules Consulting LTD.