Conflict is inevitable. How we handle it determines whether the relationship will end up strengthened or damaged. Allow me to help you keep those relationships in tact so you can all get on living your best lives. – Shirley Selski, Owner of Kamloops Family Mediation
When couples separate parenting can become very challenging. Let me help you agree on a parenting plan where everyone agrees. The plan can include everything you and your ex agree on. For example, it can include child support payments, spousal support, property division, parenting time (custody and access) and parenting responsibilities. We can plan for holidays and even include time with extended family members. You and your ex decide on the agreement and I document it. During the mediation process I may ask you to seek out legal advice before making certain decisions. For example, if you are separating and want to work out your ex spouse’s pension, I will ask that you seek out legal advice and/or a pension administrator before including it in your agreement. This way, your mediation plan will be more successful even several years later.
Unfortunately, temporary crises happen in families and this can have such a negative impact on families. A family member may have a serious illness, may need rehabilitation or treatment for a substance problem, or need a break from parenting due to personal reasons. I will facilitate a meeting with the significant family members and guide the conversation so a realistic plan can be created in a safe, non-biased atmosphere where all opinions and thoughts are listened to equally. Your family creates the plan after hearing everyone’s ideas.
Each family is unique and has their own values and beliefs. Let me assist your family to ensure all members are heard respectfully and all ideas are explored to help your loved ones. Most elderly parents have a lot of pride and do not take kindly to their children making decisions for them. Allow me to be the neutral third party and encourage courageous conversations in a safe, respectful environment. You all have a voice in planning for the future.
Parenting teenagers can be very challenging and if conflict is not addressed, damage can occur to the relationship. It is very important to keep the lines of communication open and to have courageous conversations together. I can help you do this in a safe environment where there is no yelling, no name calling but rather reframed in a positive, nurturing manner so that understanding can be created. After this understanding is created, a plan regarding house rules can be easily agreed to.
I offer years of experience interviewing children and am skilled at listening to what children have to say. The report is non-evaluative, meaning I do not interpret or critically analyze what the children say. I simply document their thoughts so parents can better understand how the separation can include the needs of their children.
The report is usually completed within two weeks of interviewing the children, so it can be very useful for court purposes. Check out the link at www.hearthechild.ca for further details. Legal aid rates available!
I became a Social Worker in 2004 and in 2012 I completed the Family Mediation Certificate at the Justice Institute of BC. I decided to open my own small business in 2013 with the goal of helping families through conflict so relationships can be maintained and cultivated. In 2014 I was accepted as a member of the Mediate BC Family Roster.
I became a Social Worker in 2004 and began working in the child welfare system, here in BC. I learned about the Child, Family, Community Service Act and all the regulations that dictate decision making. I was often put in a position where families were very upset and I quickly learned new skills in how to manage people who are angry.
My work also taught me that parenting is a very difficult job. With all the day to day stressors, it can be easy for a parent to just “give in” to whatever the kids want. I too, am a parent to two adult daughters and understand the importance of rules and boundaries. If the parents end up living apart, it can be extremely difficult as that can create many more worries and the kids feel the impact. I have personally heard their stories and they are heartbreaking.
I realized early in my career that parental relationships are the foundation that kids have to grow healthy and strong. Extended family relationships are vitally important too, as we all need help from time to time and it’s good to know we can rely on each other in our time of need. For families who do not have one another…it’s a tough road to haul.
My mediation practice opened in 2013 and is built on that same foundation…relationships. It is very important to me that all voices are heard and that kids have a voice too! They are not the decision makers, but they usually have powerful statements that can be very effective when planning.
I am a social worker and a Family Dispute Resolution Professional and a proud member of the Mediate BC Family Roster. I am qualified to provide you with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and can mediate issues in preparation for a divorce. Mediation gets the “grunt” work done at an affordable price and is done respectfully and in a timely manner without seeing a court room. Once your issues have been resolved, I document it in a MOU for you to file with the courts so it becomes a legal binding agreement.
So how am I different from other mediators? My social work background allows me to work with all parties for the sake of the kids. Children should not have to worry about adult issues and my skills ensure the mediated agreement will be in the best interests of the children. I am comfortable with conflict and provide a very safe and relaxing atmosphere over Zoom. Call or email me for more information.
Pre-mediation discussion over the phone with each party so I can hear the topics/issues, screen for violence, and ensure both parties are willing to participate. There is no charge for the initial consultation.
If mediation is not appropriate or one of the parties is not willing to participate, there is no charge. A referral to another more appropriate process will be discussed.
Parties come together over the platform Zoom to mediate for a maximum of two hours and fees are paid at the end of each session. All mediations are conducted over Zoom and I have found them all to be very effective. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home.
Your agreement is always evolving and so if all topics have not been resolved at the first session, I email a summary to each party verifying what was agreed to. Once all the issues have been agreed upon I document it in a typewritten Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and each party will receive a copy. If you want the MOU to become a legally binding agreement, you will need to file it with the courts.
Legal advice is pertinent to ensuring you get your rights upheld as well as ensure your agreement will be in your best interest. In fact, you may find I will request you seek legal advice and then come back to mediation to continue the work on creating the agreed upon plan. Mediation gets the grunt work done but legal advice is still required at specific times, especially if you are dividing your family property.
It may take more than one mediation session before an agreement is reached, depending on the complexity of the topics.
If you are mediating financial aspects, this process can take longer and you may need a few sessions before you reach resolution on everything.
Exactly what I needed! One mediation session; a bit of homework, and we were done! Thank you Shirley!
Shirley did our Hear the Child Report for legal aid fees! I think she's the only one in town who offers that...thank you Shirley!
Shirley provided a safe environment for us to talk and sort out our stuff. She is very gentle and allowed us to take breaks as needed. I highly recommend!
Shirley didn't take sides. My ex and I were able to create a fair agreement that we can both live with. Thanks Shirley!
4023 Rio Vista Way
Kamloops, BC V2H 0E1