Questions and answers about family law and divorce in Ontario - Shulman Law Firm

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What is Mediation in Family Law?

In many cases, anyone in the throes of a separation or divorce hope that it can be a simple process. But there is always a chance that a dispute may occur. This is why mediation is often encouraged.  

Mediation can help solve disputes in an orderly fashion. It can also provide other measures aside from taking the dispute to court in front of a judge. In fact, many parents overlook mediation and decide to take a dispute to court. This can lead to complications and unforeseen costs. 

Benefits of Mediation:

Experts in family law often suggest using mediation as it offers a number of advantages for separating parents. In mediation, the two parties meet with an unbiased and neutral facilitator. As the mediator is not a decision-maker, they hear both sides and help expedite a conversation in hopes that the two parties reach a resolution. Lawyers are often involved during the negotiations or just in the drafting and finalization stages. 

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Studies have proven that mediation can be an effective way to resolve disputes outside of court. In fact, mediation has shown to be successful in 80% of disputes. A mediator can be a cheaper method of solving disputes within family law. It can also be more time efficient over courts or arbitration.  

The resolution reached via mediation is voluntary. The parents involved in the separation can maintain control of the outcome. It also reduces any risk of children becoming involved in the dispute.  

Once a resolution is agreed upon, the mediator will write up what is known as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU is then taken to lawyers for independent legal advice (ILA) in order for it to become legally binding. Lawyers can also integrate MOUs into the official settlement agreement.

Many family courts in Ontario are able to provide mediation programs. Parents are able to access those resources on their court date or during other times using off-site services. Click here for more information on the Family Law Information Centre (FLIC).

If you have any questions, you can feel free to contact Shulman & Partners at (416) 661-2777. We will be more than happy to help you. 

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