Ontario Family Mediation Services
Online & In-Person Family Mediation Services
Family Mediation Services
An Amicable Process
Within Family Mediation, a divorce mediator will require both spouses to agree upon and sign a Separation Agreement, which best suits both parties involved. Throughout the process, the mediator will remain as a neutral 3rd party to simply assist the direction of the ongoing negotiations, by ensuring that both spouses are being heard, understood, respected, and satisfied. It is important to note that the mediator does not make any of the decisions – all decisions are made by the two spouses involved. The divorce mediator will simply guide the conversation to be as constructive and respectful as possible. The mediator is present to ensure all the right questions are being asked, both parties are equally being heard, and the best solutions are being settled upon. In order for Family Mediation to run smoothly, both parties must agree upon not hiring a lawyer, but instead mutually and voluntarily engaging with the specified mediator; although, in some cases, spouses will desire to hire a lawyer to assist their negotiations. However, this is not necessary. Prior to the mediation commencing, both spouses are advised to receive Independent Legal Advice (ILA) from a lawyer to learn more about their legal rights, responsibilities, and obligations before signing any legal document presented. Being provided with ILA prior to the mediations, spouses will have better legal control, understanding, and respect of any future terms that is established and maintained throughout the mediation process. Ultimately, the mediation process aims to provide both parties with a safe and equal space to negotiate future standings.
The Family Mediation process provides spouses and their families with control when resolving any existing issues. Any present family or relationship issues are not heightened during the mediation process, but rather settled with the best interest of all parties in mind. In addition to this, the mediation process will be less costly than dealing with endless legal fees when going through litigation. This amicable process will guarantee that all parties work collaboratively and cooperatively with the assistance of a mediator. Both spouses in the mediation will experience a clear, fair, and respectful process towards a finalized divorce.
In Ontario, the Family Mediation process is becoming increasingly popular and is even highly encouraged by the courts when creating a Separation or Divorce Agreement. A Separation Agreement created and signed during Family Mediation with a divorce mediator is legal, binding, and enforceable. Therefore, the Family Mediation process is not any less legal than going through litigation. However, it is far less confusing, expensive, and time consuming for couples to endure. Typically, the Family Mediation process can be much quicker than taking your case to court or using a collaborative lawyer – the difference can be weeks compared to months or even years.
To add, it is important for individuals to understand that all voices will be heard during mediation. Although some may arrive with dominating personalities, while some spouses are more timid and shy, the mediator will ensure that all parties are heard and understood. Divorce mediators are specially trained to ensure that all voices are heard and no one is overshadowed or intimidated during negotiations. In addition to this, divorce mediators work simultaneously with specialized financial mediators to properly divide and protect all of the financial assets involved in the marriage. Truthfully, many Divorce Agreements revolve around finances, planning for retirement, and future tax implications; therefore, dealing with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) is in the best interest of both parties involved.