Ashley Madison – A Time For Some Difficult Family Conversations
Aug 21st, 2015 by Families First Mediation

“I think it’s time to bring the personal family issues of the leaked Ashley Madison users back into the private world. No media, no courts, just families having these difficult conversations in a safe environment.”

Everyone feels they have a right to judge, not sure why but they do. The focus right now should be on minimizing risk to the families involved. Not just debating the legal and moral positions of the site and hackers.

Am I condoning cheating? No

Am I condoning the hackers blackmailing, bullying and sharing private information? No

Do I think people are seeing the families behind those leaked names? No

Ok, so we all know what Ashley Madison represents – feel free to think what you want about the people that join and pay for a membership.  I can tell you though as a Family Mediator that we have no idea what goes on in other people’s homes and/or in other people’s relationships. And really, why should we?

Perhaps these members have an open relationship. Perhaps they are separated and living together for convenience. Perhaps it was a joke or a joint effort by a couple to see what the site was all about. Perhaps it was cheating, pure and simple.

The hack does not end with user names being released, that is just the beginning. I’m concerned about the family fallout. What is going to happen with those couples and families now? Some very difficult conversations for sure. Those conversations may bring about some ugly truths, mistrust and some very real changes in their lives. These people can be mothers, fathers, children or grandparents and all of their extended family will now be involved in their personal lives, and let’s be clear, it is their personal lives.

I think it’s time to bring their personal family issues back into the private world. No media, no courts, just families having these conversations in a safe environment.

As a private and confidential process, maybe it’s time for the mediation process to shine. An opportunity for these families to have difficult conversations and for us as mediators to help them find a way to move forward.

Julie Gill Q.Med, CDFA

Owner & Principal Mediator

Families First Mediation


Family Mediation on the Radio – Why Would I Need A Mediator?
Feb 15th, 2015 by Families First Mediation

On December 28th 2014 I was pleased to be a guest on the radio program Mediation Station. Our topic was “Why Would I Need A Mediator?”

Mediation resolving conflict

So, I regularly have people say to me “Oh I am happily married, I would never need your services” or “if I take your card or friend you on Facebook someone will think I need your services”.

To these people I have a few questions…

“What if a family member was divorcing, would you rather see them in court losing their savings or privately sorting out their differences?” (Divorce Mediation)

“What if you are struggling with your siblings over selling your dad’s house during the process of moving him into a care facility?” (Elder Mediation)

“What if your son/daughter is in a new relationship with a partner who also has children and they are planning on moving in together? How will your grandchildren will be cared for?” (Family or Blended Family Mediation)

For all of the above situations a Family mediator could be amazingly helpful in creating transition plans and bridging the gaps in communication.

Life is about relationships, making connections, happiness…yes? I have devoted my practice to helping families transition their relationships during a time of stress. It is a very balanced and fair process that lets you stay in control. Staying focused on what really matters and helping you to move forward. What could be more positive than that?

Mediation is part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Having the knowledge that mediation exists may help you, a family member, friend or client in the future. Mediation really is your choice for POSITIVE change.

Listen now…


Julie Gill

Qualified Mediator & Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

Families First Mediation









Paying for health care is the biggest worry for aging Canadians – Is your family talking about this?
Oct 21st, 2014 by Families First Mediation

There was a recent article by The Canadian Press that stated  “Working longer may not be possible after serious health events and that paying for health care in old age is Canadians biggest worry.”  

The article (read it here) identifies that 47% said they worried about needing more long-term care than they have the money for, while 45 % said they fret over whether they’ll outlive their savings.

If these are the concerns, how do you manage them? For starters, how do you even talk about them with your family?

Should your wife/husband and/or children be aware of what your long-term care wishes are? Should they know how much you have available and what you would like if your savings are not sufficient?  Read the rest of this entry »

What Is Elder Care (Caregiver) Mediation?
Oct 15th, 2014 by Families First Mediation

Elder Care Mediation – As our population ages, families are facing many challenges as their living requirements change and age related issues become a normal part of their everyday lives.

Perhaps it is your transition or you’re a family member that’s experiencing these issues as you assist in the role as caregiver to a senior family member. Either way, this blog may help you.

eldercare mediationFamilies are often in conflict with decisions concerning the care of elder family member. 

It is important for everyone involved to have a voice in the decision making, to have open discussions about some sensitive topics and too generally bridge the gap between adult children and their senior loved ones as well as the gap between siblings. Family mediation is a terrific way to bridge these gaps.

In elder care mediation, the family members, including the elder family member, choose who should be involved in the discussions and the issues to be addressed. The elder care mediation process provides a safe and respectful place to have a conversation where important information can be gathered, ideas shared and plans agreed to.

The advantages of Elder Care mediation are:

  • Elder family member can be involved as much as possible in the decisions
  • Finances and tasks can be divided up
  • Families can develop a plan that is customized for their individual needs

The primary topics of discussion are the care of an elder family member are Quality of Life, Housing, Financial Decisions and working through Family conflict.


Perhaps you are downsizing, moving in with your children or relocating to a retirement community. There are many financial and emotional decisions to be made during this time. At this time the senior parent can lose their voice in the process as adult children begin to take decisions away. Often adult children will have a high level of conflict during the decision making period.

Support and Personal Care agreements

When a child takes on responsibility for a parent it may cause hardship both financially and emotionally, require a significant time commitment or increased costs for the child. In many instances siblings have difficulty with these decisions and any compensation that a parent wants to provide to the child that has become the caregiver.

The reality is that there needs to be a division of duties, decisions about bringing in outside professionals, relief for caregivers and agreement on the level of care needed.

Estate Planning

There are many financial and legal affairs that will need to be taken care of. You may need to modify a will, create Powers of Attorney or simply rebalance your household budget based on your new requirements.

It is a very emotional and stressful time for many families and sometimes there is a sense of urgency. Keeping all families on the same page will ensure a smooth transition and less conflict.

As a mediator my role is to help your family be future focused and address the needs of all family members.

Julie Gill, Q.Med, CDFA

Families First Mediation

Why Is Mediation The Best Kept Secret?
Mar 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. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Way Meetings – A Successful Solution
Aug 26th, 2013 by Families First Mediation

It may not be a popular stance but it is one that I whole-heartedly support. Lawyers participating  in Family mediation meetings with their clients.

5 way mediation Read the rest of this entry »

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa