"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results."
- Albert Einstein

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57 Simcoe Street South, Oshawa, ON L1H4G4

Frequently Asked Questions About Family Mediation

The following answers reflect Darlene Murphy's responses and her approach to mediation only and she is not able to comment on how other mediation services operate or the principles that guide their work.



What is family mediation?

  • Family mediation is a confidential, voluntary, consensual process in which a mediator who is an  impartial person assists the paticipants to discuss and resolve the issues they have decided to discuss and resolve in mediation. Darlene Murphy provides a written report at the conclusion of the mediation process that only reflects the decisions the participants have made.  The participants review the report prior to any copies being released.  The report reflects the terms of the mediated agreements however it is not a legal binding document and participants are strongly encouraged to seek independent legal advice prior to signing any agreement mediated or otherwise.


What are the benefits of family mediation? 

  • The ability to resolve issues in a way that suits the participants best and enables them to directly affect the outcome.
  • An opportunity to speak directly to the other person about issues of concern in a neutral and safe environment.
  • Where children are involved, the focus is kept on the best interests of the children
  • It may reduce future conflict by improving parties' communication and problem solving skills.  
  • Much less expensive and simpler than court processes.
  • It is a private process, unlike court.
  • Lessening tensions and removing an adversarial atmosphere
  • It is voluntary and participants or the mediator may terminate the process at any time.


What are the issues that we can mediate?

  • parenting arrangements (custody and access)
  • communication and information sharing related to children
  • financial support of children
  • Special Expenses for children
  • financial support of a spouse
  • division of property
  • mobility (moving with the children)
  • grandparent access
  • changes to an existing agreement, court order or separation agreement
  • any other issues you wish to discuss and resolve


How long does family mediation take?

  • Family mediation sessions take place when everyone is available. The length of time will depend on many factors, such as:
  • Number and type of issues to be mediated
  • Amount of conflict among the participants
  • Degree of communication and cooperation among the participants


What is the mediator's role?

  • The mediator's role is to provide a safe and structured process
  • The mediator is an impartial facilitator whose role is to help participants communicate and negotiate in an attempt to resolve the isses
  • The mediator does not take sides or make decisions for the participants
  • The mediator cannot give legal advice
  • The mediator writes a report called a memorandum of understanding that reflects the participants decisions their issues and the people review this report for accuracy prior to it being released to a participant in the mediation process


Do we need lawyers if we are mediating?

  • The mediator does not take the place of a lawyer. Each participant is encouraged to get independent legal advice before and throughout the mediation process.
  • It is very important for each person participating in mediation to know about their legal rights, and obligations and how the law affects those issues and any decisions that each person makes.
  • Each participant should review the final mediated agreement with his or her lawyer before signing any agreement.


Don't Litigate...MEDIATE