What is mobility (cross-border) mediation?

Mobility refers to the legal issue respecting the security of children in connection with the unauthorized or refusal by one parent for temporary or permanent residence in another province, state or international territory. This crucial issue may be accompanied by the courts’ inherent jurisdiction regarding children in the application of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Hague Convention.

This is one of the most complex technical issues presenting in family law and there is a wealth of relevant case jurisprudence (common law /conflict of laws) and judicial guidance available to specialized family law counsel and the court of competent jurisdiction to inform the involvement of the OMC mobility mediator.

Firstly, it should be readily acknowledged that cross-border mediation is not designed or intended to supplant or fetter the inherent jurisdiction of the court in it exercise of it’s own case management or enforcement of the provisions of the Hague convention in any given circumstance. The joined of legal issue goes to the root of the purported court’s jurisdiction and the contested issue of the application of this conflict of laws judicial determination must be supported, not infringed upon by the OMC mobility mediator whose role extends as a licensed lawyer with an internationally recognized common law bar (Law Society of Ontario) in Canada which is a signatory to the Hague Convention.

As a licensed officer and designated friend of the court, The parents as parties may nominate the OMC mobility mediator on consent in order to process interim or temporary arrangements regarding the security of the child(ren), retention of official documents (including birth certificate passport health card medicine, pharmaceutical or health plan) parental contact and financial arrangements pending or in consequence of the consensual or adverse rulings by the court of competent jurisdiction.

OMC organizes the professional intervention of Nigel Macleod, Lawyer/Mediator, for such specialized involvement. Nigel Macleod maintained a family law practice in law and mediation for over four decades and is well experienced in contested mobility issues before the courts of common law jurisdiction.He served for over 20 years as Crown Counsel with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer as a specially trained Barrister in various child representation mandates (akin to official guardian, USA amicus curiae). Between 2009 to 2018, Nigel’s practice extended internationally as a Certified Florida Supreme Court Mediator in family law and child dependency.

As a Barrister and counsel of record, Nigel represented a significant number of contested national and international cases involving child abduction, return to jurisdiction, contempt of court, interim parenting scheduling,Hague Convention applications with police and international agency enforcement. During this extensive period of specialized experience, Nigel demonstrated a clear understanding of the importance of an individualized plan for a particular child with a practical case management agenda for the orderly administration of justice in the best interests of children.

This OMC mobility mediator can steadily focus on what specifics parents can agree upon while remaining in distance and disagreement on their children’s general futures.

The alternativelaw Step 1 process of initial contact, screening and assessment remains promptly available in mobility matters. Please note however that our Client Services representative will inevitably be working with duly authorized legal counsel as to the parties’ instructions regarding the mobility mediation. Given the strict requirements of impartiality and neutrality of a professional family mediator in sensitive mobility cases, the direct involvement of Nigel Macleod as a officer of the court is consolidated at the juncture of the joint instructions retainer at the close of Step 1 and the beginning of Step 2 which actions a preliminary meeting of the parties and their counsel under the OMC Mobility Case and Settlement Conference Pathway.

OMC does not attempt to negotiate values as parents may differ significantly as to their individual plans for their children as they speak to the separation in two jurisdictions. We will however, provide structure, security and support as the parties reconvene on possible joint decisions in conflict reduction while they engage a fair outcome on the evidence before the court of competent jurisdiction.

We can help you at this critical juncture of decision-making with a mediated practical plan individualized to your child in the best interests of children and the specialized role of our courts.