Family mediation is very beneficial in legal situations involving parenting, support and property division whether in a separation or divorce matter.
What is Family Mediation?
Family mediation works in helping resolve possible issues relating to all aspects of family law. A certified mediator helps facilitate discussions around issues and helps find a resolution in a controlled manner.
Mediation may be considered before starting a court case or possibly even during a court case. The role of a mediator is usually played by social workers, psychologists, or lawyers. When these professionals work as family mediators, their job is to help parties reach an agreement on child support payments, property division, child custody, or any other family-related issues.
Mediators do not take sides or make decisions for the parties and by law are not allowed to give legal advice, unless your mediator is a lawyer. Utilizing a lawyer in the process is extremely helpful as you will have a sounding board to review all proposed resolutions with and in order to ensure that your rights and obligations are not jeopardized.
Is Family Mediation Good For Us?
Family law mediation will be beneficial to you if the following is applicable:
- Openness to work towards a solution.
- Your safety is not at risk by meeting with the other party, and there is no unequal
- You are open to communicating around the other party’s questions and concerns.
Lastly and most importantly, if you do decide to use a social worker, psychologist, or other professionals who is not a lawyer, it is absolutely critical that you retain a lawyer to act solely on
your behalf to review any final agreement before you sign off on it.
Pros and Cons of Family Mediation
The benefits of family mediation are:
- Private Process (as opposed to a public court setting)
- May be less costly and less formal than court.
- It’s voluntary — you can leave at any time.
Some of the downsides to family mediation are:
- Additional cost if a final resolution is not reached.
- Mediated resolutions are not binding on the parties.
- While some issues may be resolved, there is a possibility that not all of them will.
Timelines For Family Mediation
While there is no definitive timeline for mediation there are multiple factors that can help determine a resolution date. Factors such as types of issues, number of issues, amount of communication needed to come to a conclusion and willingness to come to a resolution, all may contribute to a shortened or lengthy mediation schedule.
Once We Complete Our Mediation Services — What’s Next?
Remember, mediation as completed by a non-attorney does not take the place of a lawyer —their purpose is simply conflict management. If mediation was successful, then coming to a final agreement and filing your case through a lawyer to the courts is a substantially less complicated process. If mediation was not successful, a lawyer will be then involved in your case and it will continue through the court process.
For any questions or concerns about your mediation services or book your free 30-minute consultation with us please contact us today at one of our multiple locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area.