Many family issues are best resolved by the parties themselves rather than by a judge. Mediation could be helpful when a couple needs to divide their property, make a postnuptial agreement, or decide parenting time or parental decision-making issues.
Mediation allows you to craft an individual solution that addresses your specific needs. The mediator guides and facilitates discussion but does not offer legal advice or impose solutions. You and the other party remain in control.
If the mediation results in an agreement, you could put the understanding in writing. Then you and your ex-spouse each could have a Toronto mediation lawyer review it for legal sufficiency and file it with the court to make it binding. Contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Ontario, like Paul Riley, to learn more.
Mediation has both practical and intangible benefits. On the practical side, mediation is far less expensive than taking a dispute to court. You and your ex will need to pay the mediator and usually a fee for the room or suite of rooms to conduct the mediation. You should each pay a Toronto mediation lawyer like Paul Riley to advise you about the implications of any decision; the legal professionals need not attend the mediation but should be available to offer guidance.
The process is extremely efficient. Mediation could result in a binding agreement in weeks, rather than months or years if you took the issues to court. Another important practical consideration is that mediation is private and confidential. Court proceedings are a matter of public record.
The intangible benefit of mediation is that parties often leave with a more nuanced sense of the other’s perspective and experience. Going through mediation can teach you how to listen to each other more attentively and process communication without attaching excess emotion to it. These skills can be invaluable, especially in a family setting. You and your ex-partner could continue to use them when you communicate about your children and other issues of mutual concern.
Mediation is very effective when you both have an interest in resolving an issue and are willing to compromise. However, both parties must desire an agreement. In some disputes, one party insists on being right and expects the other person to submit to their will. Mediation is unlikely to be successful in such a case.
In family mediations, it is critical for both parties to feel safe making disclosures and expressing their opinions. If you have a history of domestic violence or if there is a significant power imbalance between you and your ex, a mediator must adjust the process. Many mediators do not accept such cases, but some do. A legal professional with experience in family mediation in Toronto could direct you to a mediator who can accommodate these situations.
A mediator will screen you before scheduling a mediation to confirm that each of you could freely participate in the process and your dispute is appropriate for mediation. Both of you should feel comfortable with the mediator before scheduling the session.
A mediator is a professional with training in communication and mediation skills. They could be a lawyer, therapist, social worker, or other professional. If the mediator is a lawyer, they cannot offer legal advice during the mediation. In a Toronto family mediation, both parties should have their own legal counsel to provide advice and review any agreements the parties reach.
The mediator is a neutral third party. Typically, a mediator will listen to what each party hopes to gain from the process and what they wish the outcome will be. After hearing from each party, the mediator might summarize their respective positions, noting areas of common ground. The mediator then might ask the parties to begin discussing areas of disagreement.
As the parties discuss areas of conflict, the mediator could manage the interaction to ensure both parties feel heard. When dealing with the emotionally fraught issues that come up in family mediation, people often fall into familiar but unproductive communication patterns. A mediator is trained to interrupt those patterns and bring the parties back to effective exchanges. However, a mediator will not offer solutions or take sides.
If you and your ex-partner or co-parent are in conflict, or just need guidance and structure while negotiating thorny issues, consider mediation. With the help of a trained professional, mediation is an efficient, cost-effective, and empowering way of managing challenging discussions.
A Toronto mediation lawyer could be available around the clock to guide you through the process and explain the implications of your decisions. Schedule an appointment today to get a skillful legal professional on your side.
Now you can have your FREE 30-Minute Consultation with Paul Riley any time from the comfort of your own home. With free video calls from Zoom, your Team at The Riley Divorce & Family Law Firm can meet with you virtually, and learn about your case. All you need is a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop with a built-in camera and microphone.
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