Article provided by: Positive Solutions Divorce Services®
Divorce mediation is one of the alternative dispute resolution processes couples in Ontario may use to agree on specific issues. Couples may choose to use this option independently or may be obligated to do so by an order from a judge in an Ontario divorce case. Positive Solutions Divorce Services provides Ontario mediation and divorce solutions to couples looking for a less stressful means of sorting out their issues. Couples can expect a few things from our mediation services.
The Role of the Mediator
The role of the mediator is contained in the Ontario Family Law Code. A mediator is a neutral party who assists couples reach a mutually acceptable agreement regarding various issues, including residency, parenting, visitation, child custody, and property division. Therefore, the mediators at Positive Solutions Divorce Services are neutral third parties. Although our mediators are lawyers, they do not provide legal counsel or advice to any party during mediation. Instead, our mediators help couples identify issues, clarify priorities, find areas of agreement, and reduce misunderstandings.
Our trained mediators will not make decisions for parties involved nor force them into agreements. However, our mediators will explore the viewpoints of the parties involved and identify points of agreement.
The Mediation Process
At Positive Solutions Divorce Services, we conduct all our mediation processes in a safe and informal environment agreeable to parties involved. The only people in attendance during family mediation in Ontario are the couple and the mediator, no one else. Even if one or all the parties have legal counsel, their lawyers do not typically attend the mediation. At the end of the mediation, the parties may consult with an attorney on their own.
Discussions held during mediation are strictly confidential. All issues discussed by the couple during the mediation are protected by privilege. However, statements of violence or threats are not protected by this privilege and may be used against the relevant party in family court. The discussions in mediation may be disclosed to participants’ lawyers if both parties agree to do so.
Our mediators will take the time to explain the mediation process at the beginning of the session. We usually begin the mediation by identifying areas of disagreement. Our mediators draw on their experience and training to ensure conversations held during mediation are productive.
The mediators at Positive Solutions Divorce Services conduct their work with empathy and compassion. Therefore, they work to ensure participants in a mediation consider the children’s interests and the consequences of their decisions. In some cases, our mediators meet the children with consent from the participants. Our mediators will conclude the discussions if, in their professional opinion, they feel the participants are unable to reach a reasonable agreement or if continuing the mediation will harm the children.
Mediation agreements are not admissible in court if they are not put in writing and signed by the participants. The mediator will provide a written summary of the participants’ agreements at the end of the mediation.
Are you looking for practical and affordable divorce solutions in ON? Please contact Positive Solutions Divorce Services for a free consultation with our online mediation specialists for separating couples in Ontario: 888-779-8777.