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Lawyer Assisted Mediation
Lawyer assisted mediation is mediation that includes the lawyers for both parents. Although a much more expensive mediation process, having the lawyers present can provide a greater sense of legal, physical and emotional safety for the participants. This can be of tremendous value in cases where theer is serious alleged or verified issues of abuse, mental health issues, drug/alcohol concerns or just a tremendous degree of animosity and/or mistrust between the parents. Recognizing that outcomes imposed by a court or arbitrator tend to be less durable and more poorly followed, lawyer assisted mediation can help parents achieve a mutually acceptable agreement while feeling their rights as well as the process is protected.
For lawyer assisted mediation to function best, the lawyers themselves must value mediation and have the capacity to resist turning the process into pseudo-litigation. The lawyers will be expected to allow the parents to speak on their own behalf, although breaks can be taken for parents and lawyers to confer with each other during the process. Lawyer assisted mediation may be better facilitated by lawyers with training in collaborative family law or mediation itself, although this is not a precondition for service.
Beyond the above, the description of mediation also applies to lawyer assisted mediation.
is directed at resolving issues regarding the on-going care and management
of children following parental separation or divorce such that a
parenting plan is developed or specific issues are resolved. It is
the parenting plan that sets out the residential arrangements as well as
roles, responsibilities and approaches for the care of the children. In
mediation, parents retain control of the outcome.
role of the mediator is to facilitate discussion, help generate options
and educate on matters of concern to the well-being of the children in the
context of the parental separation/divorce. The mediator will endeavour to
keep behaviour safe and civil to allow appropriate negotiation between the
may be seen together or separately depending on the level of conflict and
matters of concern. If seen together, the
mediator can separate the participants when necessary and move between
separate rooms if required.
developmental perspective is taken in structuring parenting plans so
parents are better prepared to handle natural changes that occur with
People may self-refer for this service or a lawyer may refer you on your behalf. However, you will require a lawyer to advise you as to the nature of the service agreement available in the Lawyer-Assisted Mediation Referral Form
If you call for yourself please do NOT launch into your version of the problem. To the degree you lay out your side of the issues in advance of the other person, you will be considered to have biased my perspective and service may end before it even begins. In calling on your behalf, identify you are seeking mediation and then please let me lead the conversation so I obtain only the information I require to begin this process even-handedly. Please be advised, I will not answer hypothetical questions as those are typically based on the caller's situation and discussing those hypothetical situations will be considered a matter leading to bias. Please also note, if you are considering my mediation service, you are well advised to inform the other party and have that party read this web page.
Mediation Process (in general terms):
As a social worker, I am respectful of people's different income levels. As such, the fee is set on a fee-for-service basis using a sliding scale that ranges from $150 - $400 per hour. The actual fee then is determined by your joint income, or may be determined by your assets. You will be charged from the beginning of the scheduled appointment time, even if you are late. Appointments cancelled with less than 48 hours (two business days) will be billed for one hour. Further, time will be taken at the beginning of the first meeting for me to present my qualifications, experience and approach to counselling so that service is provided on an informed basis. This is deemed part of the time provided and billed for.
Terms of payment will be determined by the mediator prior to service. Billing will be on basis of actual time spent on any activity or cost related to the mediation service, charged at the rate as per above, plus HST. You will be billed for any activity directed to your case.
Fee Schedule (based on joint income):
Third Party Payments (EAP and other Benefit Providers):
Pleased be advised that I do not accept payment by third party payers (benefit or EAP providers) whatsoever. People are directly responsible for payment of services as per the information above at the time of service. A receipt will be provided with which persons can seek reimbursement from their EAP or benefit provider. I take no responsibility for your reimbursement. Reimbursement remains a matter between you and your benefit or EAP provider.
If you do seek reimbursement through your benefit or EAP provider and I am called to verify the charge, I will do so with your implied consent. My disclosure will be limited to advising of my credentials as well as verifying the billing information, service provided and persons served. Please note, mediation is a clinical-legal service and may not be covered. No information regarding the nature or content of information discussed will be provided without signed consent, for which you will be charged as per the time required.
All matters remain confidential with the following exceptions:
Please note, people regularly come great distances to see me. If you are considering driving more than two or three hours, please let me know so I can set an appointment to accommodate your drive.
Please call to discuss the specific mediation process for your situation.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.
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20 Suter Crescent, Dundas, ON, Canada L9H 6R5 Tel: (905) 628-4847 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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