The mediator ensures that each parent communicates his or her needs and expectations freely and in full to the other parent, and that negotiations are conducted fairly and in full knowledge of the facts. The mediator also ensures that the needs of the children are taken into consideration during the negotiations.
The mediator must remain impartial, and cannot represent one of the parents or take the side of one of the parents.
The mediator cannot make any decisions on your behalf or provide an opinion of any kind. However, the mediator may suggest that you contact a specialist, depending on the nature of the dispute.
During a mediation session, the mediator:
ensures that mediation is not contra-indicated, for example because of a major imbalance between the parties;
directs the process to help the parties reach a free, voluntary agreement in full knowledge of the facts;
maintains balance and equality during the negotiations;
reduces the obstacles to communication;
considers the interests of the children and their parents;
provides general information, but not opinions;
suggests input from professionals;
terminates the mediation process, when necessary;
suggests that the parents obtain an independent legal opinion before finalizing the summary of the points on which they agree;
reminds the parties that it is possible to end the mediation process without prejudice.
Couples without common dependent children
The information on this page is for parents going through a separation.