A Family Is A Family – LGBTQ & Divorce Mediation
Feb 10th, 2017 by Families First Mediation

LGBTQ families and Divorce Mediation – Support for ALL families.

I had an interesting comment conveyed to me the other day and it got me thinking – yes even on a Friday 🙂

I was reviewing a flyer and wanted to make sure that the wording was inclusive. I had a concern that the way something was worded could be perceived as only relating to a male-female, mom-dad family. I wanted to ensure that my LGBTQ clients would not be or feel left out. (I am not excluding grandparents, step parents or anyone else acting in place of a parent. This flyer was intended for parenting after separation or divorce and specific issues related to that.)

The response was not a concern about the change of wording but the comment “I didn’t know that you mediated with LGBTQ clients”. Of course I do. Why wouldn’t I? “I didn’t see it on your website.”

A family is a family. No two families are the same and each has their own special circumstances. It never occurred to me to single out any specific family type and let them know that yes, I did support them. I thought by not excluding anyone, I was including everyone. Perhaps that needed clarity, I’d honestly not thought about it.

Here’s what I can say and am comfortable saying. I love working with families. During separation and divorce, I love helping them move forward. I love hearing how they are all different – their values, beliefs, how they became a family, how to raise children and how those roles can change after separation or divorce.

I don’t care if a couple is common-law or married, same sex or not. I don’t care if there are multiple parents, step-parents, grandparents, sperm donors, surrogates, adoptions or any other combination of features within a family.

Each family I work with, shares their own unique story with me. For that I am always respectful and grateful that they trust me enough to do that.

Hoping to add some clarity – Families First Mediation supports ALL families.

Julie Gill Q.Med, CDFA

Owner and Principal Mediator

Families First Mediation


Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Divorce No Longer Public
Jan 10th, 2017 by Families First Mediation

In a National Post article today I read that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have announced that they will now be handling their divorce privately, which I am so happy to hear. Read the article here:

Celebrity or not, divorce should be private. Well, that’s my feeling anyways. As a family mediator I work with couples every day going through this really tough life transition.

I truly understand the need for support during this time and the need for some details to get shared with the appropriate people. Support is one thing, publicizing your divorce details is quite another.

I know some couples will do it to try to get an advantage, to have friends and family take sides or to shift some of the guilt and anger they feel. These are emotional reactions to hurt. They are not however focused on moving forward, the children or even the individuals best interests.

Angelina and Brad have found a process that works for them and say they are committed to act as a united front going forward. I always say to my clients, “You got into this together, get out of it together” – I think this is more often than not, the most effective way for families to move through a separation.

This is not a time for gossip. There are children involved and their right to be protected, supported and cared for should be paramount. Congratulations to Angelina and Brad for putting the focus back on the children and now handling their divorce privately.

Julie Gill Q.Med, CDFA

Owner and Principal Mediator

Families First Mediation



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