Answers To Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a cooperative, fair and efficient way to resolve disagreements with the help of a neutral professional: the mediator. The goal is to discuss the issues and reach a mutually beneficial agreement..

What Mediation is NOT?

Mediation is not:

  • Marriage or Couples Therapy
  • Marriage or Couples Counselling
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Manipulation or bullying
  • Treatment for depression

Is Mediation Like Couples Therapy or Marriage Counselling?

Mediation is not couples therapy or marriage counselling. Couples therapy and marriage counselling address recurring or ongoing issues. Therapy or counselling seek to discover the “why” behind the issues, exploring each person’s past. They go into a much greater depth to address the issues in the relationship.

Mediation addresses the specific issue(s) at hand. It is dispute resolution. Mediation is short-term process that is goal and task-oriented. It does not assess the couple’s past, but rather focuses on resolving the present issues with practical solutions.

What Are the Benefits of Mediation?

  • Less stressful than the adversarial court process
  • Cooperative and non-confrontational
  • Faster and cheaper than hiring a lawyer
  • Focused on the best outcome for the whole family
  • Offers creative solutions to difficult problems

What is a Mediator?

A mediator is a neutral third-party that guides the communication process and negotiates a fair agreement between the parties involved. They can be in the same room with both parties involved in the conflict, at the same time, allowing for efficient and effective communication, which leads to the development of a Memorandum of Understanding that will include all the items for future agreements.

Daniel Mandelbaum of Divorce & Family Mediation Center is a Certified Family Mediator with a background in Clinical Psychology, negotiation and mediation. He has obtained successful, mutually beneficial results for countless families and partners.

What Is the Difference Between a Divorce Lawyer and a Divorce Mediator?

Divorce lawyers in Kelowna, or in any other part of Canada, cannot represent both parties when they are in conflict unless the lawyer is acting as a mediator. Otherwise, this is a CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

In Divorce Mediation, a mediator can and will be in the same room with all parties involved, saving you time and money. CONFLICT OF INTEREST becomes an INTEREST TO RESOLVE A CONFLICT. It is extremely difficult to resolve a dispute that involves the same roots, but different needs and expectations unless all parties are in the same room.

Yes, you need to be informed and know the law, your rights and your obligations. We provide a Memorandum of Understanding and the final goal is a Separation Agreement prepared and written by a lawyer. We collaborate with your chosen divorce lawyers to review the final agreement that has been structured to accommodate the specific circumstances and needs of all the parties. A separation agreement, done with clarity and attention to detail, creates a road map to guide you now and into the future. Divorce and Family Mediation Center does not provide legal advice.

In rare cases, a lawyer may be the only answer. If after the initial evaluation you are not ready to mediate, we will not take your case.

What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce Mediation finds creative ways to share assets and resolve the conflict for a separating couple. It is a process with steps, specific techniques and tools. It consists of a series of sessions with a mediator to come to an agreement on all issues pertaining to a couple’s separation. The final goal is to establish an agreement that the ex-couple can leave with and abide by.

The lawyer of your choice will then take the terms in the Memorandum of Understanding that we prepare for you and draft a Separation Agreement (contract), and it may include the applicable: assets and debt, bank accounts, credit cards, credit lines and loans, spousal support, child support, parenting plan, gifts before marriage, inheritance, and pensions.

What is Family Mediation?

Family Mediation is a practical, affordable and confidential process to address conflicts within a family and to resolve their differences with the help of a neutral mediator. Family conflicts most often arise where there is significant change – blended families form, an aging parent needs to move to a residential facility, an issue in the family business, or a teenager has been acting out.

In a neutral and private setting, Family Mediation provides a forum for addressing the subtle and personal issues that often block problem solving. The family can resolve their disagreements while preserving their dignity and future family dynamic.

What is Couples Mediation?

Couples Mediation is a short-term process designed to identify concerns and meet needs to reach agreements that address the problem at hand. It is a problem-solving approach for resolving disputes and underlying conflicts that will lead to regained friendship and trust in the relationship. It is not marriage counseling or couples therapy.

In Couples Mediation, we do not spend a lot of time going back to the history or the roots of the conflict. Mediation is not positive re-enforcement (although there is nothing wrong with that). By openly discussing the conflict, expectations, and how to manage the conflict, the couple will have better communication. The couple will grow in communication skills that will lead them to regain a strong relationship and friendship.

What Are Perpetual Problems vs. Solvable Problems?

Perpetual problems are:

  • Aggression in couples
  • Permanent symptoms in kids
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Sexual issues

In general, perpetual problems are related to needs and stages of life, and cannot be satisfied by the relationship, regardless of who’s at fault. More than likely it is nobody’s fault, and in couple’s mediation we do not focus on labeling one person, but rather we focus on finding a common and positive way to deal with the perpetual problem. Call me to set up an interview and we can discuss this in detail.

Solvable problems are:

  • Career expectations and educational provisions
  • Joint incomes and expenses
  • Separate and/or jointly-owned property, inheritances, wills
  • Support
  • Financial obligations
  • Relationship with children
  • Involvement of ex partners
  • Dissolution of relationship

Solvable problems are problems that reveal a different belief system, and different needs, generated by history, cultural influence and circumstances, that if left untreated will end up as perpetual problems.

What is the Adversarial Court Process?

The adversarial process works well for other areas of law but it is not well-suited for resolving family matters. It is confrontational, slow, stressful, and expensive. Each person hires a lawyer or is self-represented. A lawyer can’t meet with both people, as that is considered a conflict of interest.