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Why Is Mediation The Best Kept Secret?
March 3rd, 2014 by Families First Mediation

As a Mediator my role is to help people communicate through conflict, to find resolutions to problems and to actively participate in decisions.

Mediation is a fair, safe and balanced process that ensures everyone has a voice. It’s less costly than the legal process and much more efficient in most cases.

Yet I still wonder daily why mediation is not as common place as counselling or lawyers? People in conflict tend to call a counsellor (to deal with the emotional side) or a lawyer (to deal with the legal side). A mediator helps deals with the practical side of conflict which is often where the biggest problems occur.

I know many people that end up in court because they don’t know that they have any other options. In this day and age with information so readily available online why is the general public not aware of the less costly options for resolving disputes?

I know that some of the reasons are:

  • Mediators do not do a good job of marketing and creating awareness
  • Many lawyers are not supportive and not informing their clients of mediation as an option
  • People are fearful of conflict and prefer other people to manage it or avoid it altogether
  • People are mistaken about what mediation is

Why not look into all of your options? To me Mediation is worth a shot, you always have the legal process to fall back on.

What is the worst that can happen? You don’t resolve issues through mediation but you find out what the other person’s position is so that you can better prepare for the legal process.

What is the best that can happen? You resolve your conflict by developing solutions that best meet YOUR family’s unique situations and requirements instead of having a judge make decisions for you.

Mediated agreements related to family issues have a very high degree of compliance because they are specific to your family’s needs and the family actively participates in making decisions and creating agreeable solutions.

No, mediation is not for everyone. There may be domestic violence situations or serious power imbalances that are more suited towards the legal process. Also, it may be a great solution for you but the other party may not be interested.

I often hear from clients that they went to lawyers who told them that mediation wouldn’t be appropriate for them because they were too far apart in their positions. Perhaps these lawyers don’t understand what mediation is? If the clients agreed then they wouldn’t need a mediator in the first place. Perhaps as mediators we are not doing enough to partner with lawyers and explain the value that we can bring to their clients?

As a mediator I want to help you find the best solution for your family. To me that means informing you of your options and making sure you have the right support team. From lawyers, to real estate agents, to mortgage brokers and counsellors. There is no one-size fits all solution and you should expect the best service from any option that you select.

I have access to great local professionals to help you through your conflict situation. I am contacted daily to provide referrals to lawyers, counsellors and other professionals. I see my role as a mediator to help people make informed decisions, from what process would work best for them, which lawyers would best meet their needs or how to create great solutions for their family.

Many of us have friends, family members and/or clients that could benefit from mediation. Please help me spread the word that there is a more cost-effective, efficient, timely and less stressful resolution…Family Mediation.

Mediation should not be the best kept secret!

 

Julie Gill

Owner and Principal Mediator

Families First Mediation

@mediationforall

905.427.0100

julie@familiesfirstmediation.com

 


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