Common Questions

What does Mediation cost?

Mediation is generally charged at the hourly rate of the Mediator. Rates vary depending on the seniority of the Mediator, the complexity of the matter, the difficulty of managing the parties, and safety concerns that may require special attention. Hourly rates also apply to preparation time the Mediator requires before conducting mediation sessions. There may also be incidental charges in some cases, such as fees for use of conference rooms at particular facilities.

We accept Legal Aid referrals. If you wish to proceed with a Collaborative Divorce or a Mediation but you do not have the means to afford us, you may qualify for Legal Aid. If you qualify, advise the Legal Services Society (LSS) at the time of approval that you would like to have our firm represent you.

Legal Aid

Legal Aid referrals are limited in scope and we may only be able to provide you with a certain type of service, or we may be limited in the particular issues we are permitted to address for you.

For example, Legal Aid does not always cover family law cases where only property is in dispute; funding is usually reserved for families dealing with parenting or child-related issues as these are considered more pressing. Each case is assessed on an individual basis.

To apply for Legal Aid, call 604-408-2172 (Greater Vancouver) or 1-866-577-2525 (Toll Free, elsewhere in BC).


What does the Mediator really do?

It is the Mediator’s job to ensure those involved in a Mediation feel safe and comfortable with the process, and that all participants are heard. Mediators have different personalities and different styles. A good Mediator will be able to shift from one style to another depending on the needs of the parties as they progress through the Mediation.

Because the Mediator is neutral and does not argue on one party’s behalf, Mediation may not be supportive enough of parties who would prefer to have someone else do the talking or negotiating for them. It may also not be appropriate in situations where the bargaining power of the parties is skewed. An example of a power imbalance that may render Mediation inappropriate might be when one party has complete control over the finances of the family, or when one party feels unsafe being in the same room as the other party. In such cases, we may recommend other dispute resolution methods. The best way to determine whether Mediation is right for you is to contact us and let us assess your situation.


The Mediator is asking me personal questions about my relationship. Why?

Because Mediation is sometimes a bare negotiation of sorts, it is imperative that the parties be able to bargain effectively. If the Mediator is asking questions about the relationship between the parties, he or she is likely trying to determine the scope of the relationship between the parties to assess whether there are bargaining power disparities, and if so, the extent of those disparities.

Once this assessment is made, those disparities can usually be accounted for so the process is made objectively fair. Other times, the bargaining power disparity is such that Mediation between the parties is deemed inappropriate by the Mediator.

The Family Law Act actually imposes a duty on dispute resolution professionals to screen for and assess, among other things, family violence (which is a very broadly defined term) between parties to a dispute resolution process. It is likely that in asking some seemingly intrusive questions, the Mediator is simply adhering to the new requirements of the law in British Columbia and trying to determine whether Mediation is an appropriate process in the case at hand.


How long does Mediation take?

That depends on the issues that need to be addressed and the relationship between the parties. A Mediation is a “facilitated conversation” or a “facilitated negotiation.” Naturally, the more facilitation that is required, and the more challenges the Mediator uncovers in the discussion, the longer the sessions will run, and the more sessions will be necessary. If the parties can get along fairly well, solutions can sometimes be just a few hours away. Other times, it may take many sessions over weeks or months.

Furthermore, when an agreement is reached in a Mediation, typically each party will take the agreement to his or her lawyer for independent legal advice (ILA) before the agreement is signed and made official. It may be that the ILA requires the parties to return to Mediation for fine-tuning the agreement. The Mediator has no control over delays occurring at the ILA part of the process. The Mediator is a neutral party who does not under any circumstances provide legal advice to the parties.


Can Mediation fail?

There are no guarantees that any dispute will be resolved by any particular process. It often depends on the level of commitment that each party brings to the Mediation.


Mediation worked. Now what?

Once all the issues between the parties have been discussed and the parties agree on suitable solutions, the agreements are papered, either in a Memorandum of Understanding, or if the Mediator is a lawyer and agrees to draft it, a draft Agreement. Each party then takes this to his or her respective lawyer for independent legal advice (ILA) and if it meets everyone’s approval, the document is signed and implemented. If adjustments need to be made, the parties are welcome to do this through their lawyers or through further Mediation.


How do I start Mediation?

Contact us and we can schedule an intake appointment for you. Because Mediation is a consensual process, all parties need to agree on pursuing Mediation, and they must also agree on the choice of Mediator.


I have other questions…

Contact us by clicking the link below and we will be more than happy to answer all your questions.


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Legal Services provided by Predovic Law Corporation