Family Law Mediation Services
As a family law mediator, Kelly Jordan uses her creative strategic thinking, legal expertise and vast family law experience to present her clients with fair solutions that satisfy the needs of both parties.
After decades of helping families through divorce, Kelly understands the emotional trauma that is felt by both sides. She is level-headed, humane and wise in her handling of delicate family matters, and strives to resolve the case in a way that benefits the family as a whole. Within the umbrella of our mediation services, Kelly Jordan handles issues such as parenting, finances, division of property, child support, spousal support and any other matter pertaining to family law.
Kelly believes that mediation is the better dispute resolution method for families. It allows for couples to have better control of their own case. It also requires both parties to come to a mutually beneficial agreement, which means that they are more likely to adhere to the terms they have set for themselves.
Kelly recognizes that there is a need amongst her clients for such a service, and has thus committed to training and educating herself in order to provide the best mediation to families she works with. Kelly’s emotional intelligence, legal know-how and the fact that she always puts the needs of the children first make her an understanding yet effective mediator.
Mediation Frequently Asked Questions
How you prepare for mediation depends on whether you are entering mediation with lawyers being present or not. If the lawyers are going to be present for the mediation, they will frequently have a pre-mediation discussion with the Mediator and will prepare a brief of issues that you will review, and that the Mediator will be able to read in advance of the mediation.
Many Mediators will have individual meetings with each of the spouses in advance of the mediation. These intake meetings are generally confidential in that the Mediator does not refer to the issues discussed in the course of the mediation with the other party. This is an opportunity for you to make sure that you have alerted the mediator to all of the issues that are at stake up front. In advance of this meeting, you should make sure that you know what the issues are and what your positions are on each of them. You can also be candid during this meeting and tell the Mediator which issues are more important to you and on which issues you will be willing to compromise and make concessions.
Prior to attending the mediation, make sure that you have read the Mediation Agreement thoroughly. You should consider carefully whether the mediation is open or closed. In a closed mediation, discussions about what occurs will not be disclosed in the event that you fail to reach a settlement. Most mediations in family law are closed.
Make sure that you are well rested and not distracted during the course of the mediation. If you need to make child care arrangements, make sure that you do so. It is common for mediations to last an entire day and past the end of school. You will want to make after school arrangements for your children.
The most important way that you should conduct yourself during a mediation to listen. You should listen to what the mediator says, what the lawyers say, and what your spouse says. Try to be creative and imaginative in thinking for solutions based upon the issues as your spouse identifies them. Do not be positional. Instead, be prepared to make reasonable concessions and make them early in the day. This will help you be more likely to reach a final settlement.
Do not mediate in bad faith. That is, if you do not intend to settle out of court, you should not enter the mediation process. To do so, simply escalates costs for everyone and it is not in anyone’s best interests or the best interest of the children.
Mediators generally charge an hourly rate and require a retainer up front. The retainer is usually shared equally by the parties. Often the retainer will be equal to the cost of a full day of mediation. The Mediator may also charge administrative charges for staff charges during the mediation process.
The hourly rate of the Mediator will depend on the Mediator’s experience and qualifications. Generally speaking, a Mediator will cost $300.00 or more per hour. There are some court associated mediation services that have a sliding scale for mediation.
The length of the mediation will affect the cost. Being prepared for the mediation by having all of the issues organized up front and relevant disclosure completed will be expeditious and therefore cost effective.
The length of the mediation will depend on the following factors:
- the time spent on your behalf;
- the complexity of the issues;
- your potential emotional and monetary exposure;
- the degree of resistance encountered;
- the extent to which any work needs to be performed on an emergency basis; and
- the result accomplished.
It is important that you do some research before you choose your mediator. First, look at what the Mediator’s qualifications are. Some Mediators are accredited with different provincial bodies and others are not. Your Mediator may also have a different educational background. If the issues that you want to mediate are primarily parenting issues, you may seek a Mediator that specializes in social work, psychology, or psychiatry, particularly if there are mental issues involved. There are, however, also Mediators who do not have a formal parenting background, but who frequently successfully mediate complicated parenting issues. This is particularly the case when those issues may involve significant legal issues and you want a Mediator to understand what an outcome is likely to be in court.
It is important that you seek out references from your Mediator. These can be other lawyers or clients that have met with the mediator in the past. This can give you a sense of the Mediator’s style and their particular way they conduct mediation.
Mediators often have different styles. You need to pick a Mediator with a style that is helpful to you and makes you comfortable, but is also a style that your spouse will be comfortable with. For example, if you hire a Mediator that is very evaluative and takes a legal approach, but your spouse would prefer someone who considers his or her interest and not just the law, you may not have the right fit. A Mediator may also have a style that is very persuasive, and this is helpful to getting to an end result. You want a mediator that is someone that is comfortable for both of you. It will do little to help your case if you insist on a Mediator against your spouse’s wishes and then your spouse is unable to come to a resolution. Finally, you must consider the costs of the Mediator. Mediators range in costs from an hourly rate of $300.00 and up. The costs are generally shared equally between the parties. Mediators will provide you with a Mediation Agreement that sets out the terms of their retainer in advance. There are plenty of qualified Mediators at any price point. Decide whether you need a Mediator with specialized expertise at a higher hourly rate or whether you may be able to find a reasonably priced alternative.
Mediation is a fast, effective and economic method of dispute resolution but it isn’t for everyone. You should consider Mediation if:
- You are looking for an affordable divorce
- If you do not want to draw out your divorce proceedings over a long period
- If you want to end your marriage amicably
- If you are considering joint parenting
- If you want to make your divorce easier on your children
- If you want more control over your decisions
However, mediation may not be the right fit for you if the following is true.
- You are expecting a long drawn custody battle
- If either of you refuses to show flexibility on your position
- If either of you is taking a position based on “principle only”
- In some cases of intimate partner violence where the power balance can’t be rectified through other means
Book a Free 10 Minute Phone Call
Speak with Kelly Jordan and find out if she is a good fit for your mediation needs.