What is mediation?

“Mediation is the process by which an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) professional, called a mediator or ‘neutral’, helps the parties reach a resolution of their dispute. It is a non-binding process involving joint and separate meetings of the neutral with the parties in which the role of the neutral is as a facilitator and intermediary….

The mediation process also serves as a forum for airing emotional differences that may stand in the way of resolving conflict, and thus, may help facilitate a settlement that both sides can be satisfied with much earlier in the adversarial process than could otherwise be reasonably expected.” (cited from

An Olive Branch Vancouver Mediator will provide the parties with maximum control over the solution and an opportunity to have a fair settlement to the identified concern(s).

Do I need a lawyer?

We strongly recommend that you have legal advice before, during and upon completion of the mediation. However, your lawyer does not have to attend the mediation with you. We can provide you with a list of mediation-friendly lawyers if you are not sure where to find a family lawyer. Your Olive Branch Vancouver Mediator will discuss the importance of getting legal advice with you.

How much does mediation cost?

While cost is linked to the number of issues to be addressed and subsequent time needed, mediation almost always costs less than going through an expensive court and legal process. Legal and court fees can cost thousands of dollars and often there are no winners at the end. On average, if you hire an Olive Branch Vancouver Mediator to negotiate several moderately complex family issues the cost may range from $2000 to $6000. With more complexity and need for discussion the cost may increase. However, even if the parties hire a lawyer to provide some legal advice prior to signing an agreement the cost will likely still be significantly less than going to court.

How long will it take to get a mediated agreement?

An average mediation process can take from 7 to 15 hours of direct mediation time. Additional factors include time constraints regarding accessing necessary information and scheduling issues.  An Olive Branch Vancouver Mediator will advise both of you on ways to maximize your time with the mediator.

The other party is requesting mediation and I am concerned that the process will be biased towards them. How can I be sure mediation will benefit both of us?

It is extremely important that you feel confident that your Olive Branch Vancouver mediator is working for both parties and not “taking sides”. Feel free to ask the Vancouver Mediator questions regarding your specific concerns before and during the mediation. Olive Branch Vancouver Mediators are accountable to various codes of conduct. For information on these standards see the links below: