The Mediation Process
Individual Intake Meetings
We will meet with each party individually first to learn more about each party’s perspectives and goals for mediation, to discuss the mediation process, and to identify possible resolutions. We will also consider whether any procedural adjustments are needed to create a safe, productive, and balanced process.
Joint sessions can be scheduled with the parties on their own, or the parties with their lawyers. Joint sessions can also be scheduled with other professionals such as a parenting professional or a business/income valuator if their input would be helpful to the parties in reaching a resolution.
As the office of a certified lawyer-mediator, we can prepare a separation agreement as long as each client reviews and signs the agreement with independent legal advice. When a non-lawyer mediator is used, the mediation report will need to be re-written into a separation agreement, costing the parties additional legal fees.
The Mediation Difference
- You will negotiate with the assistance of a skilled and neutral facilitator. Mediation is a voluntary process in which our lawyer-mediators act as neutrals to help guide both parties negotiate an agreement.
- Mediation is a patient process to work through difficult or complicated issues. Our mediators will guide you and your spouse through the issues, while assisting you to communicate respectfully and productively. You can negotiate interim, partial, and final separation agreements, cohabitation agreements/marriage contracts, parenting plans, or changes to existing agreements and orders.
- Mediation provides the flexibility to build creative solutions to meet your family’s unique needs and preferences. The process is very flexible and can cost less than traditional negotiation or litigation. It provides the opportunity to design your own solution, in accordance with your values and goals.
- You can create stronger, longer lasting agreements. Research suggests that those who reach a settlement in mediation are more likely to remain generally satisfied with the outcome in the future and more likely to adhere to the terms of the settlement as both participants “buy in” to the agreement when it is created.
- You can preserve ongoing relationships. In some cases, the goal is to accomplish a “clean break” and maintain mutual respect and dignity. In other circumstances, the goal may be to maintain an amicable or business-like relationship for each other and/or the children. Mediation is a collaborative problem-solving exercise that encourages the preservation of ongoing relationships to the extent desired and appropriate in the circumstances.
The preparation of a Separation Agreement is considered the practice of law by the Law Society of Ontario so a mediator who is also a lawyer can prepare your agreement in the format of a Separation Agreement. This is one of the main benefits to working with a mediator who is a lawyer. It can save you time and money, both now and in the future.