Mediation: Breaking down the basics

What is Mediation?

Mediation is one form of alternative dispute resolution in which you and your spouse meet with a neutral third party, a Mediator, to attempt to resolve your legal issues. Mediation cannot be forced; you and your spouse must consent to attend Mediation.

Reasons to attend Mediation:

  • It is typically faster than the Court Process
  • It is usually cheaper than going through the Court Process
  • Mediation Process is typically easier to follow than the Court Process
  • You and your Spouse choose a Mediator who you are both comfortable with
  • You and your Spouse choose when to meet with your Mediator
  • You and your Spouse have the option to choose closed or open Mediation

Closed Mediation

Closed mediation means that what happens at your meetings is private or confidential. No one can repeat what was said during your mediation, except in rare situations.

Open Mediation

Open Mediation means that anyone – you, your partner, and your mediator – can give evidence in court about what happened during your mediation. All documents can also be shared. Prior to attending mediation, your Mediator will determine if mediation can be done fairly and safely by meeting alone with both you and your spouse for a pre-mediation interview. If the Mediator determines that Mediation would be useful for you and your spouse, they will then schedule your Mediation date. At Mediation, the mediator will attempt to discuss and resolve your legal issues.

Mediators are trained to:
a) mediate safely and look for signs of partner abuse
b) not take sides when working with partners with different interests
c) help each partner see the other’s point of view
d) help partners agree when they see they have similar interests and concerns

Mediation will only work for you and your spouse if you are able to communicate with each other. If either of you refuses to cooperate or discuss your family law matter, it is likely that Mediation is not the right process for your family law matter. If you are unable to settle your issues at mediation, you may consider going through the Court process.

Did this article answer your questions or concerns about mediation? If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers regarding further issues related to child custody or access please contact us at (416) 840-1475 or schedule your free initial consultation here.