Family Mediation: The 9 Benefits and Beyond

Family Mediation in Toronto
  • You could save time and money – mediation often does not require lawyers and takes less time than court action

  • You can keep your dispute out of the family court system

  • You get to decide what happens, rather than some judge in the “family justice system”

  • You are personally involved in creating an agreement that has everyone’s best interests at heart

  • You approach your dispute positively, which helps reduce stress and the impact on your children

  • You negotiate directly with your spouse, helping to maintain a civil relationship between the pair of you, which will help make future parenting and other decisions easier

  • You can discuss and resolve sensitive family issues in private, without having to drag them publicly through the courts

  • Your settlement agreement will be enforceable

  • You can bring a friend or family member along to mediation sessions to support you, as long as the other party agrees

  • Outlining your legal options with advice before entering into mediation

  • Helping you decide whether mediation is right for you

  • Giving you advice and insights about potentially confusing legal documents and how they can be used during mediation

  • Attending your mediation meetings with you, as long as the other side agrees

  • Reviewing the draft agreement that’s reached following your mediation

  • Helping resolve issues that might remain following mediation

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FACT: The court-based alternative is likely to be even more expensive, as lawyers generally charge more for their services than mediators. And don’t forget, you and your spouse will each have to hire your own separate lawyer, whereas in mediation you both just require the services of a single mediator. What’s more, most family law disputes can be resolved in just two sessions. Court cases can drag on for months, even years.

FACT: The whole point of entering mediation is that it gives you and your spouse the chance decide issues yourselves. The mediator is there to help facilitate constructive dialogue between you and your spouse, not to make decisions for you. Leave it to a judge and they may come to a decision that is not agreeable to one or both of you. Getting mediation is also quicker and therefore usually cheaper than waiting to go to court.

FACT: There are many more ways to come to agreements other than through compromise. Mediators have plenty of ways they can help you reach agreement via creative solutions, and alternatives you may not have considered before or thought possible.

FACT: Don’t underestimate the power of mediators and Family Law Mediation. Between 70% and 80% of disputes are settled with the help of highly trained mediators.

FACT: Mediators are highly trained to ensure both parties get a fair and equal chance to state their case and offer their suggestions. So it doesn’t matter what kind of personality you have or how well you can communicate, you will get treated equally throughout Family Law Mediation.

FACT: Yes, they are, and their knowledge and legal insights can often be instrumental in helping resolve disputes more efficiently. But you will need to ensure the other party agrees to your lawyer being present. And regardless of whether or not lawyers attend the mediation meetings, it’s always advisable to get your lawyer to review any settlement agreement that results from mediation before you sign it.

FACT: All parties involved in mediation will be required to sign a confidentiality document that ensures no disclosures made during mediation can be used in court at a later date

FACT: While it’s best to enter mediation as early as possible during separation proceedings, it’s never too late. Many judges will order family law mediation before a trial starts, and if one side disagrees, the other side can file a motion to mediate, which is likely to be granted by the judge.

FACT: If mediation fails, you are going to end up in litigation, and that’s a process that gives both parties carte blanche to know the other side’s strategy, so it doesn’t matter that you’ve already revealed yours during mediation.

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Mediation Benefits in Separation and Divorce

  • Mediation gives the parties control over their separation. In a court supervised process, the judge has the power to make a final ruling. This ruling may not tally with the interests of the couple. Mediation allows the spouses to work things out in their own way. 

  • Family mediation can be much faster than litigation. It produces much quicker mutually agreed win-win results and can be done in a matter of hours or at most days. Litigation has been known to take years before coming to an end. 

  • With family mediation, the parties can come to a deeper resolution of their marital and separation issues. The court will not have time to entertain all issues, and will usually restrict itself to only the legal aspects. 

  • Mediation allows the spouses to focus on what would be best for their children. In a court supervised proceeding, this determination will be left to the judge. That may not turn out how you expect. 

  • Mediation also costs far less than what couples can expect to spend in a protracted legal battle. 

  • Finally, family mediation is private and confidential. It is absolutely private, unlike litigation and nothing you discuss with the mediator can be used in court. So you can rest assured that if participating in mediation does not work for you, it would not have ruined your ability to approach the court. 

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We help smart and successful separating couples create separation agreements with clarity and soft landings for secure futures in 4 meetings or less without all the lawyer created overwhelming conflicts, confusion and costs.

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Ken S, Maynard CDFA

Divorce Advice
About the Author:
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst & Family Mediator at
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I help smart and successful couples, create separation agreements with clarity and soft landings for secure futures, in 4 meetings or less without all the lawyer created overwhelming conflicts, confusion and costs. You can work with me by video conference or with a DTSW associate at any of our 6 DTSW Greater Toronto mediation centers, including | Aurora | Barrie | North York | Vaughan | Mississauga | Scarborough.

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