Mediation

What is family mediation?
Mediation is a family-centered conflict resolution process in which an impartial third party (the mediator) helps the participants in negotiating a consensual, informed and fair agreement. Decision-making rests with the partiesthroughout. The mediator assists the parties in identifying  issues and information needs, reducing obstacles to communication, exploring alternatives and focusing on the needs and interests of those who it is agreed are affected.

Common issues that a Separation and Divorce specialist would mediate include:

  • The division of property, assets, and debts
  • The creation of parenting plans
  • The calculation of child support
  • The determination of spousal support

What are the benefits of using mediation?

  • Cost effective (Fees for one professional are shared by the parties.
  • Time efficient (Convenient scheduling without  waiting for a Court date
  • Mutually beneficial  (Parties can respectfully voice concerns and suggest possible solutions)
  • Flexible (Unique to the situation)
  • Confidential (Privacy is protected)
  • Professional  and Ethical process (Standards of Practice in Mediation, Code of Professional Conduct and Malpractice Liability Insurance are in effect)

How much time is involved in a mediation meeting?

The time required depends on the complexity and number of issues. Generally, these meetings are from one to four hours.  A second meeting may be scheduled if required.

Who will attend?

Usually the mediator and the two birth parents of the child are present.  Step-parents can be included if all the birth parents agree to have them participate.  Children are not usually part of the mediation process.

What should you bring to the meeting?

To make the meeting a success and make sure your concerns are heard, it is important to bring an open mind, speak honestly and try to understand the views of everyone involved. You may also want to think about what items you would like to see on the agenda and prepare a list of questions to make sure all of your concerns can be dealt with.
Also please bring the last three years of your filed Income
Tax forms as well as Notices of Assessment and Notices of Re-Assessment if Child Support is part of the mediation.

Will a written report be prepared?

Yes.  A Parenting Plan or Brief Conflict Intervention report will be written and provided to each of the parents and the Court if appropriate.
Provisional agreements reached by the clients are subject to their obtaining independent legal advice and will be non-binding until incorporated into a formally signed agreement or Court Order.

What is the cost of mediation and who pays?

Mediation fees will be charged at the rate of $300.00 per hour for sessions, report writing, telephone consultation, letters and other tasks associated with the case when two parties are involved and is usually shared equally by them.

MEET DR. LINDA HANCOCK – YOUR MEDIATOR

  • Bachelor of Social Work degree (BSW)
  • Bachelor of Arts degree (BA)
  • Master of Education degree – Counselling Psychology Specialization (M.Ed.)
  • Psychology Doctorate degree (Psy.D)

Designations

  • Registered Psychologist
  • Registered Social Worker
  • Registered Family Mediator (Separation and Divorce Specialty)
  • Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (C-SAT)
  • Certified Multiple Addiction Therapist (CMAT)

Mediation Training

  • Mediation Training (Level I)
  • Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts sponsored by Legal Education Society of Alberta
  • Parenting Coordination and Arbitration in Divorce/Separation  (Modules I,II and III)
  • Family Restructuring training

Memberships

  • Alberta Family Mediation Society (serves on Board of Directors and Committees)
  • Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR)
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (Former member)
  • Health Sciences Association of Alberta Provincial Bargaining Committee (Former member)

Experience

  • Alberta Justice Services
    • Regional Justice contract for Family Mediation and Brief Conflict Intervention cases
    • Observer for Parenting After Separation
    • Alberta Round Table on Family Law for Children of Separation or Divorce
    • Private Practice, Mediator, therapist, author, speaker, consultant
  • Collaborative Practice
    • Past Co-Chair for the Medicine Hat Collaborative Practice group
    • Member of Collaborative Practice Strategic  Planning Committee
    • Interdisciplinary Collaborative Law Training Committee
    • Divorce Coach Steering Committee
    • Organization Committee member and participant in the Interdisciplinary Collaborative
    • Training Workshop sponsored by Palliser Conflict Resolution Inc.
    • International Academy for Collaborative Professionals Forum – presentation of a workshop entitled  “Dealing with Impasse” with Janis Pritchard and Brad Hunter (lawyers) to a group of over 100 registrants
  • Other
    • Participant at Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society annual Conferences
    • Participant and planning committee member for Alberta Family Mediation Society annual Conferences
    • Author of mediation process book
    • Instructor in the Athabasca University Criminal Justice degree program
    • Former Child Welfare Case Manager and Investigator
    • Former Child Psychologist for Community Mental Health
    • Hundreds of hour of training and experience with Triage, Crisis intervention, Domestic Violence, Communication and Child Development

Dr. Linda with Judge Harvey Brownstone author of the book “Tug of War”