Anyone who has family issues that need to be resolved. At the settlement conference, only the parties who will be making decisions should attend. However, if both parties are comfortable, other friends and family members may attend the mediation conference for comfort and support. It is not usually a good idea for either party to bring children to the settlement conference. The parties should discuss who they want to bring to mediation with the mediator before the conference takes place.
Mediation is a settlement meeting where a neutral, impartial third person, called a mediator, helps the parties to come to agreements about their family issues. The mediation conference is informal, confidential and non-adversarial. The conference takes place in a private conference room where the parties meet together or in separate rooms. The purpose of mediation is to open up lines of communication and to explore all possibilities of settlement in order to resolve family issues. The role of the mediator includes helping the parties identify issues, fostering joint problem solving, exploring settlement options and finding creative solution to family matters. If the parties reach a settlement in mediation, the mediator can draw up a written agreement for the parties to sign.