As an experienced mediator, I can help you and your spouse or partner negotiate the terms of a complete separation agreement including a parenting plan, support payments and property division. Mediation can save you time and money
What is Mediation?
Quite simply, mediation is a facilitated negotiation. As the mediator, or facilitator, I am a neutral party who assists you and your spouse or partner in your negotiations. I help you to communicate with each other and to understand each other’s concerns, interests, and priorities. I will assist you in developing appropriate solutions that will be documented in a draft separation agreement.
Why choose a lawyer to be a mediator?
My experience and training as a family lawyer benefits my mediation clients in many ways. I am able to:
- provide legal information about Ontario family law and how it impacts support, property and parenting issues
- give clients an assessment as to how Ontario courts deal with similar family law issues
- provide a framework and ideas for the parties to resolve their specific issues
- prepare a separation agreement
This allows you to negotiate with confidence: there should be no surprises when you meet with your lawyer for independent legal advice.
What is the role of your lawyer in mediation?
I strongly recommend that each party meets with a lawyer after the mediation to review the separation agreement and obtain independent legal advice (ILA) before signing the agreement.
It is important to understand the difference between a lawyer and a mediator. A lawyer will represent you and work on your behalf. He or she can give you legal advice.
As a mediator, I am required to remain neutral. I can give you and your spouse or partner legal information. For instance, I can review the framework that the Family Law Act sets out for dividing the property of a married couple who are separating. You and your spouse or partner may choose to apply the legal information to your situation to work out a solution for your property issues.
Benefits of Mediation
Respectful Process and Better Decisions
Mediation focuses on respectful and principled negotiations. Open and frank discussions in a controlled setting are encouraged. People make better decisions for themselves when they understand each other’s feelings and concerns.
A quality solution will stand the test of time. In many cases, disputing parties such as parents, family members, co-workers, or neighbours must continue to deal with each other after their dispute has been settled. A solution that is developed through a respectful process with an increased understanding of each other’s concerns will provide a strong foundation for future cooperation.
Participation and Control
Mediation allows each party to fully participate in the process and in the solution. A mediator will not make a decision and impose it on a party. Each party has input in crafting the solution.
In most cases, mediation is confidential. Unlike court proceedings which take place in open court and involve public records, a mediator will disclose information only to the clients and their lawyers. There are some exceptions to this that will be discussed with you at the beginning of the process.
Efficient and Cost Effective
In mediation, parties negotiate directly with each other. The parties will agree to full disclosure of information and documentation relating to the issues in dispute so that everything is transparent. The parties can ask questions and seek clarification. Direct communication saves time and money.