Never in a month of Sundays would I have thought that I’d spend the recent holiday season being grilled about family mediation. The topic du jour, amongst my friends in any event, seemed to be prompted by B.C.’s new Family Law Act and its support of non-court dispute resolution processes, including mediation.
Every delicious mug of hot chocolate I got treated to seemed to be accompanied by the same question – “why family mediation?” – or some variation on the theme, such as: “Why is mediation being encouraged this way in British Columbia?” “Why have a process that doesn’t necessarily result in a binding agreement?” and my all-time favourite question, “Why would someone want to use distance mediation?”
Because I’ve already covered these topics in this blog, I’ll spare you the details of my responses to these questions – most of which included desperate hints about my mug being empty. But, for those of you who have not yet seen the posts I’m referring to, here they are again:
- For information on the advantages of using mediation in general, check out my introductory post, Ten good reasons to use distance mediation, and The clouds and silver lining of divorce in B.C.
- If you, too, are wondering why someone would want to participate in distance mediation – compared to traditional, face-to-face mediation – some of the advantages can be found in this series of short posts:
- Technology really can help close the distance (if this post appeals to you, you might like this one also: Living here: The two sides to wilderness travel in B.C.)
- You can wear your slippers
- Less time behind the wheel = More time for you
- Less time behind the wheel = More money for you
- Reduce your carbon footprint (you can find more on this topic in two other posts, Daring to think BIG by Colleen Getz and my Daring to think small)
- It takes advantage of the “great equalizer”
- Keep your “other” family members happy
- It provides “distance” from your former spouse or partner
- Save paper, save trees
- You can fit it into your busy schedule
- Answering the important question of how mediation can lead to a legally enforceable agreement, as well as what the difference is between a Memorandum of Understanding and a legally binding agreement, is: How does mediation lead to a legally enforceable agreement? by Erin Shaw.
- Finally, for those of you who want the nuts and bolts of the family mediation process, you can get the low-down in Jane Henderson Q.C.’s Family Mediation: One Lawyer Tells How She Does It. An explanation of how and why mediators assess for family violence can be found in Carole McKnight’s Family violence, assessment and distance mediation: How do they fit together?
If you have questions about family mediation which aren’t answered in these posts, please do send them to me. One of our fine distance family team members will gladly answer them.
And now… back to a quiet mug of hot chocolate.