Family mediation is a meeting between you and your ex-partner, with the help of an impartial mediator, to discuss issues arising from a separation or divorce. It is a less costly, more flexible and quicker way of solving disputes than going to court. You and your ex-partner can sit together or in separate rooms, and your lawyers may attend if you wish.

At mediation, you will work together to find solutions that suit your situation. Agreements negotiated through mediation are often more satisfying and long-lasting than a decision made by a judge in court. There are many different kinds of arrangements that can be reached through mediation, including:

It is important to be open minded and understand that both parents will have their own perspective of what is best for the children. It is normal for discussion in a mediation to become emotional and heated, but it is essential not to let this derail the progress that has been made. If discussions are becoming too heated, ask your mediator to call a break.

Family mediation can be completed in one session, or more commonly in two to three-hour sessions. Often, it will be decided in the initial session that more information needs to be gathered or that it would be helpful for the participants to identify other possible solutions for a particular issue. In these instances, the participants schedule a subsequent session to give them time. Sessions are confidential, and any discussions that take place at a mediation (save for the disclosure of financial information) cannot be referred to in court proceedings.