What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process led by a highly qualified, experienced and impartial professional who will help you and your ex-partner come to agreements on all aspects of your separation.
Your mediator’s role is to facilitate conversation, explain the laws surrounding your separation, and draft documents outlining the terms agreed upon by both parties. You leave the process with a legally binding separation agreement and parenting plan if needed.
Why Choose Mediation?
Mediation is much less expensive, less time consuming, and less hostile than family court/litigation. It keeps you focused on positive outcomes and common goals for the longer term, which is especially beneficial when it relates to children.
With our expertise in family law, finance, and psychology, along with our specialization in conflict resolution, we can assist you with dividing assets, collaborating to agree upon terms, creating co-parenting plans, and ultimately, helping you find the middle ground.
Why is Family Court (Litigation) So Expensive?
Based on a Law Commission of Ontario Report, family court costs, on average, between $24,000 to $90,000 per couple and lasts a minimum of 22 months. This is due to the fact that there are many steps involved in which your lawyer will have to file multiple applications before you can even set an initial court date.
You will be required to pay your lawyer throughout the entire pre-trial process and will have to pay another upfront fee if your case gets to trial. View this guide to learn more about the difference between mediation and litigation.
What is a Separation Agreement?
A Separation Agreement is a contract between you and your ex-partner that clearly details the settlement of issues relating to your separation. Drafting your Separation Agreement is an administrative task and by doing so does not mean we are implying that we are lawyers and providing any legal advice. We strongly encourage any persons who are going through mediation to receive independent legal advice from a family law lawyer.
How Much Does Mediation Cost?
Our prices range from $1,070 to $3,530 plus HST per person, depending on the complexity of the situation. Learn more about how we determine our prices here.
How long does mediation last?
The average mediation typically takes 2 months, so long as clients have provided full financial disclosure and are both willing to make decisions promptly. However, the time frame is completely up to the clients. We have completed mediations in a matter of weeks, and others, over years; we work at the pace our clients prefer.
What is Financial Disclosure?
Financial disclosure is a broad term that is used to describe the process of providing access to all of one’s financial information. During a separation, one must provide their mediator and partner with all information regarding their assets and debts as of their “Date of Separation” (e.g. a bank statement or Visa statement showing the account balance as of the date of separation).
What is a Date of Separation?
The “Date of Separation” is the exact day that you and your partner separate.
This date is important because:
You can file for a divorce a year after the date of separation
It is the date upon which you will value and divide all property
What is a Parenting Plan?
A Parenting Plan is a document that comprehensively outlines how both parents plan to approach raising and caring for their children after separation. It usually includes a broad range of topics, such as:
Schedule Management of Recreational Activities
Family, Friends and other Parties
Introductions to New Partners
Children’s Possessions Between Homes
Rules Around Mutual Respect and Boundaries
Its main goal is to prevent any future conflicts regarding childcare from arising. Children thrive in a stable and nurturing environment, and a Parenting Plan will help you provide the stability and care your children need after you have separated.
Can I Force My Spouse to Attend Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process, meaning that both parties must provide their full consent to participate.
How Do Lawyers Fit into the Process?
Mediators are here to facilitate conversations, explain the laws surrounding your separation, and draft Separation Agreements for you. Due to the fact that we are neutral third parties and not lawyers, we cannot provide legal counsel at any point during the mediation. We strongly recommend seeking independent legal advice throughout the process.
What is the difference between being Separated and being Divorced?
Simply speaking, being divorced means that the court officially ended your marriage. This means that you may marry again if you wish. Only legally married couples can divorce.
Being separated means you have made the decision to live apart from one another (sometimes within the same home) because the relationship has broken down. Both married couples and common law couples can be considered “separated”.
You do not need to go through a legal process or get documentation to legally separate however you do need to submit an application to a family court office to be granted a divorce.