We offer two different ways to give children an opportunity to be heard in your separation process.
Child Inclusive Mediation
Mediators are required to help parents understand the needs of their children. We can help by providing information and resources and we also offer a child inclusive mediation process. If this process would be helpful to your decision making process, your mediator will appoint a co-mediator who is trained to speak with children. The co-mediator will meet with the children while they are with each of you and bring that feedback back to your mediation session. As mediation is confidential and private, this information will be for your assistance only. The mediator is trained to not put your children in the middle. Children are free to decline participation, share information if they wish, and even speak with the mediator and decide which information they do not wish shared. This important process allows children to feel heard in the decisions that will greatly affect them. The fee for this service is in addition to your fee for mediation and is an additional $500 plus HST. Each additional child is $150 plus HST.
Voice of Child Reports
We also help families by providing a more formal written report that can be used in mediation or just for court. Sometimes families are already in the court process and they are not sure if mediation will be successful. They may want the voice of child to be in writing and be capable of being used in the court system if mediation is unsuccessful, or they may choose not to do mediation but want a Voice of Child Report for litigation. Laura Kapetanov is an MSW who spent many years working with children and is trained to conduct these interviews.
There are 3 levels of service which set out a fee generally split by parents.
If you or your counsel just want the child/ren interviewed due to an emergency issue, a Voice of Child Report can be completed within ten (10) days. Laura will meet with the child twice, once with each party, review any necessary materials and provide the written report. The fee for this service is a total $800 plus HST and each additional child is an additional $300 plus HST.
The second option includes the interviews and review of information described above and adds a meeting with each of the parents prior to meeting with the children and is generally completed within thirty (30) days. The fee for this service is $1,000 plus HST and each additional child is an additional $300 plus HST.
The third option is an investigation that includes the review of material and interviews of the parents and children described above and contact with third parties (police, school, CAS) and family members other than the child and the parties as identified by counsel and the parents. In this model there would potentially be a third meeting with the children and there will either be an attendance at a mediation session or a disclosure meeting to share the information learned. This may also include a report in writing. Please contact us to discuss the estimated fee for this level of service which is more substantive in nature.