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Toronto mediation vs. collaborative law

”How long?” and “how much?” are two questions that are often at the forefront of any divorce-oriented thought process, particularly when separating spouses attempt to resolve such issues as property division, child custody, and support. While the financial cost of finalizing a divorce depends on a great number of variables, the emotional costs during a hotly contested dispute can be great, taking its toll on both the parents and the children.

Mediation and collaborative law are two methods of finalizing a divorce without litigation. Mediation involves using a mediator, usually someone with a background in social work, to act as a negotiator between the opposing spouses in order to resolve the outstanding issues. The parties’ respective lawyers are involved in the mediation process and can opt to amend a mediator’s recommendations or the parties’ themselves can make changes to a recommendation.

In contrast, collaborative law involves the separating spouses and their respective lawyers, who are all active participants in the negotiation of the matrimonial issues. Should any of the issues related to the divorce fail to become finalized, the collaborative lawyers are prohibited from representing the spouses in court. Collaborative law is less expensive and time-consuming than litigation.