There are several types of mediations, and each is handled best by a mediator skilled in dealing with the kinds of problems the clients have.
For instance, many families are very concerned about their kids and are not sure how their children will adjust to separation. There may be children who have special needs, very heavy activity schedules, medical problems, or problems at school because of the separation. A mediator who is also a mental-health professional (social worker, psychologist, etc.) can guide the parents as they make plans for their kids and help them sort out what other assistance they may need.
When financial matters are complicated, a mediator who understands family law, such as a family lawyer, is the best choice. Although it is not the mediator’s job to give advice to the parties, he or she has the training to identify the importance of money matters and the experience to know what to do about sorting them out — and he or she will also know when to contact another professional (such as a forensic accountant, business valuator, or financial planner) if the parties need additional help and guidance.
Whether it is helping parents understand and accept their new roles with the kids and with each other, or making sure a divorcing couple understands their financial circumstances, family mediators are committed to getting families through the transition of separation.
Marion Korn is a family lawyer, mediator, and collaborative lawyer in Toronto. In her mediation practice, she applies her legal expertise to help separating families settle their financial matters.