Understanding the Cost of Mediation in Ontario?
Mediation can be an effective and often less adversarial way to reach agreements when navigating the legal complexities of situations like divorce or separation. But how much does this process cost in Ontario? In this blog post, we’ll explore the factors that influence the cost of mediation.
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The cost of mediation in Ontario varies depending on several factors:
- The Mediator’s Experience and Reputation: Mediators with extensive experience and a strong reputation in the field generally charge more for their services. Their expertise, however, can often lead to more efficient resolution of disputes.
- The Complexity of the Case: Complex cases involving numerous issues or high-value assets may require more time to meditate, thereby increasing the cost.
- The Duration of the Mediation: Mediation is often charged hourly, though some mediators may offer a flat fee for the entire process. Longer mediation processes will be more expensive if you pay an hourly rate.
Are divorce mediators expensive?
How much does divorce mediation cost? And is mediation for you? If you are concerned about the outcome of your separation and divorce. You are tired of worrying about what will the settlement process cost. Wondering if it will remain an amicable separation and how it will impact your children or your retirement. Then I’ve got something I think you’re going to be interested in.
Imagine a non-judgmental, safe and secure environment that leaves you free to express your interests, concerns, fears and feelings, all without feeling intimidated or pulled into any bickering.
What if I could guide you both step-by-step to an equitable outcome in 4 meetings or less, and create a separation agreement with a built-in soft landing for your family.
If this interests you, please allow me to explain my fee structure, aka Divorce Mediation costs.
Is mediation cheaper than divorce?
Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s 2018 Legal Fees Survey reveals a lawyer negotiated non-contested separation and divorce could cost you each between $5100 to $7400 to prepare and review the documents. If you are not agreeing (contested), the cost increases quickly by an additional $19,500 to $35,500. In all, you could soon be spending $24,600 to $42,900 each. More if you either of you own a business.
What are the steps of mediation?
Introductory Stage - Mediation Orientation
In this first stage, the mediator works with you and your spouse to lay a foundation for the rest of the mediation. You give the mediator background information about your situation, and the mediator explains how the mediation will be conducted. Depending on how well you and your spouse communicate and what the issues are in your case, the mediator suggests an approach that should optimize the chances of reaching an agreement. You’ll assess the issues on which you and your spouse agree or disagree, helping you to work together on an agenda for the rest of the mediation.
In order for the mediation to be successful, you, your spouse, and the mediator all need to be as fully informed as possible about the facts of your case. This is the information gathering stage. Sometimes it begins during the first session; sometimes it starts after that session. If information that you and the mediator need is unavailable or in dispute, the mediator will try to help you find ways to get it or to determine what is correct. For example, you might need the policy number and other details of a life insurance policy. If you can’t locate your copy of the policy, the mediator might suggest ways to get this information, such as contacting the broker who sold you the policy or writing to the insurance company.
During this stage, the mediator may first begin to discuss the general legal rules that might apply to your case. This can include the laws of your state dictating how a judge would divide your assets and debts, how child custody and child support would be decided, when and how alimony can be ordered, and laws dealing with related issues like taxes and life and health insurance. This general legal information will help you decide how to approach the issues in your case.
The mediator will also ask you and your spouse to bring in financial documents such as tax returns and bank and mortgage statements. As you progress, the mediator will summarize the information being assembled. If you agree that additional research is needed or a neutral expert is to be consulted, that will go on a “to do” list. This second stage of the mediation can span two or more sessions, especially if you need to do outside work to obtain additional information or appraisals. If you feel that you already know enough about your situation and have definite ideas on how to work out a settlement, you may find yourself impatient with this stage and anxious to move ahead with the negotiations. Even though you may want to rush on, the mediator’s job is to make sure that both you and your spouse have all the facts and information you need to negotiate an agreement that is legally binding and that you won’t regret having signed.
What can I expect from mediation?
In the framing stage, the mediator helps each spouse outline that person’s reasons for wanting certain outcomes in the settlement. These reasons consist of individual concerns, priorities, goals, and values. They are often referred to by mediators as “needs and interests.” Here, we use the broader term “interests.” Identifying interests helps to frame the core goal of the mediation: finding a resolution of the issues that successfully addresses each spouse’s most important interests. In most divorces, many issues need to be examined in light of each spouse’s interest. These include property and debt division, child custody, child support, and alimony.
Often, spouses’ interests will overlap. This is especially likely if the interests involve a concern for other people, such as children. When an overlap like this occurs, it increases the likelihood of finding settlement options that address their common concerns. Of course, it’s not always possible to negotiate an agreement that satisfies fully all of the interests of the disputing parties. Some interests may have to be compromised, especially in divorce, where limited resources must be divided between two households. But if the focus is on identifying and addressing each person’s most important needs and interests, the resulting compromises will be ones that both spouses can live with.
Some mediators prefer to conduct the framing stage in separate sessions, as they believe it better prepares each of you for the next stage: negotiating. Other mediators favor joint sessions because they believe that hearing your spouse work with the mediator to formulate interests lays a better foundation for the give and take of the negotiation stage. Either way can work, although separate sessions make the mediation cost a little more and take a little longer, because anything important that is said in the separate session will have to be repeated to the other spouse.
Once the mediator has helped the spouses frame the issues and interests clearly, it is time to negotiate an acceptable settlement. This usually begins with an exploration of possible options. With the mediator’s help, the spouses discuss and evaluate the options, until eventually they narrow down the options to the ones that work best for both spouses. Getting to the final combination of options will involve compromises and concessions on both sides
Most mediators will emphasize the problem-solving aspect of negotiation at this stage. The problem to be solved is finding settlement options that address each spouse’s most important interests as fully as possible. With this focus, you’ll be able to negotiate by trading off acceptable options instead of getting locked into zero-sum bargaining, where one spouse’s gain is the other spouse’s loss.
Concluding – Documenting Stage
Family Harbour Child Centered Parenting Plan
For those who have children, long after your finances are settled, you are connected to each other by your children. Your children will be your greatest legacy. Many longitudinal studies have proven a mediated separation and divorce settlement creates the most stable long-term co-parenting environments. If your mediation produces nothing more then a healthy co-parenting environment then it’s simply worth it.
The strategic error that most people make is to develop a separation agreement in a vacuum. What I mean is they create a separation agreement without input from the other party. Then they turn around and demand the other party sign the separation agreement. I call this separation at gun-point. This strong-arm approach mostly leads to higher conflicts and no signed separation agreement.
With Divorce the Smartway the creation of a separation agreement is an inclusive endeavour right from the start. A separation agreement developed in mediation with the input of both parties creates a sense of equity and ownership of the agreement. When there a feeling of ownership the agreement becomes more durable and long-lasting.
Going through a separation can be an emotionally taxing and complex experience. Having a professional who can skillfully guide you through this process is essential for achieving a fair and mutually agreeable outcome. As both a Mediator and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), I have the unique ability to address the emotional, financial, and interpersonal aspects of your separation, ensuring a smoother and more efficient resolution.
My goal is to provide you with the tools and support needed to navigate your separation with confidence and peace of mind. By working together, we can achieve a fair and amicable settlement that respects the needs and goals of both parties while minimizing the costs and stress associated with traditional divorce proceedings.
Take the first step towards a more secure and peaceful future by scheduling a Get Acquainted Call with me today. During our call, we can discuss your circumstances and explore how my services can support you during this critical time.
Ready to take control of your future? Click the button below to schedule your Get Acquainted Call now.
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Talk to Ken S. Maynard CDFA, a Soft Landing expert to come up with a strategy that works best for you and your family for free!
Ken S, Maynard CDFA
Ken Maynard CDFA, Acc.FM
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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Ken Maynard CDFA, Acc.FMhttps://divorcethesmartway.ca/author/wardman/May 23, 2023
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Ken Maynard CDFA, Acc.FMhttps://divorcethesmartway.ca/author/wardman/March 17, 2022