Does mediation work?

In most cases, mediation resolves some or all of the outstanding issues. Statistics show that, on average, 82% of cases are resolved at mediation. Please see the 2014 Mediate-BC study on the effectiveness of mediation: http://www.mediatebc.com/PDFs/1-52-Reports-and-Publications/The-Case-for-Mediation.aspx

How much does mediation cost?

The cost of mediation varies depending on the amount of time that is needed to resolve the issues. We charge $200 per hour for mediation services.

The average Family Mediation is $3,000-$5,000. We have a fee cap of $5000 on all Family Mediations.

The average Estate Mediation is $8,000-$10,000. Estate mediations cost more because they generally have more participants than Family Mediations.

Do we need to mediate if we have already reached an agreement?

If you have already reached an agreement, we can prepare a Separation (Family) or Settlement Agreement (Estate). We offer a flat fee $1,500 plus tax for drafting these agreements.

Who pays for the mediation?

Family mediations are generally divided equally between the parties. If there is a significant income difference between the parties, the cost can be divided relative to income. In Estate Mediation, the Estate normally pays for the mediation.

Are there time limits for mediation?

It is important that progress is made quickly. We set a general time limit of three months to complete mediation. Sometimes there are factors that cause the process to take longer, but the focus always has to be on reaching an agreement.

Do I need a lawyer?

Many people use mediation instead of a lawyer. However, it is important to understand your rights and obligations. Mediators are not allowed to represent any one party in mediation. They can outline legal issues, tell you how a court might view an issue, and brief you on likely outcomes. They cannot give you legal advice.

Do I need my lawyer at the mediation?

Lawyers do not need to attend all mediations. However, lawyers should be involved with the preparation and conclusion of mediation. Most people will have their lawyers attend the first and last mediation session.

What do you talk about at mediation?

The parties set the agenda. Setting the agenda is an important part of the process. This is when having your lawyers can help you prepare. The mediator will help you define the issues that are important to you.

What happens if we have reached a deal at mediation?

We will prepare Minutes of Settlement outlining your agreement. Each party will sign the agreement. Depending on the complexity of the agreement, we can prepare a Separation Agreement (Family Law) or Settlement Agreement (Estate Cases). These agreements can be filed in court and can be enforced like a court order.

Can I get a divorce after I have completed mediation?

In B.C. you must live separate and apart for 12 months before you can get a divorce.  However, having a mediated agreement makes things a lot easier and quicker. We complete joint divorces for many of our mediation clients for a flat fee of $1,500 plus tax.

What if we do not resolve everything at mediation?

Some issues can’t be solved at mediation and you may need a trial. A good mediation will narrow the issues for the trial and save you significant time and money.

Why are lawyer mediators more expensive than other mediators?

When you hire a lawyer as a mediator you are getting all of the advantages of a civil mediator plus the real world experience of a lawyer who has tried cases similar to yours.

Do you do remote mediations?

We use secure video conferencing to conduct mediations throughout B.C., Alberta, and the Yukon. We have also video conferenced to the UK and have a number of UK clients.

What was your fastest mediation?

Sometimes people are on very tight timelines. We can accommodate most schedules.  I once had a successful mediation case which was completed within 11 days. In that case, the parties had a mortgage renewal deadline which required a completed agreement.

Where do mediations take place?

We have a boardroom which seats eight, and also a breakout room for private discussions. For larger mediations, we have access to larger meeting spaces that can accommodate up to 30 people.