What happens during the mediation session?

The mediator and parties identify the unresolved issues. Each party puts forward what his/her position. The mediator helps separate interests from positions. We discuss one issue at a issue at a time. The mediator ensures that each party understands what the other is saying, why are saying it, and facilitates a discussion leading to compromise. When parties seek the guidance of the mediator he may suggest solutions but is cognisant of the need for self determination.

How do the spouses and mediator work together?

The mediator does his best to promote an atmosphere where the parties themselves will arrive at their own agreement. The mediator may offer suggestions and give legal information but will not impose his views on the parties and will give legal information but not legal advice.

During the mediation session, what does the mediator do?

The mediator will promote a safe environment where each party will be free to discuss anything he/she feels is important by ensuring that neither party interrupts the other or disrespects the process. If needed, the mediator may meet separately with each party to caucus in confidence .

Are there different kinds of mediation?

Yes there is “closed mediation” in which neither party can use anything that is said in mediation in any court proceeding. There is also “open mediation” where a party may use what was said or call the mediator as a witness in court if mediation fails. Finally, there is mediation/arbitration where the mediator acts an arbitrator if mediation fails.

How much does mediation cost?

The cost depends on how long it takes to arrive at an agreement because mediators charge for their time.

How long does mediation take?

It can take from a few hours to a few days.

Will I also need to hire a lawyer?

Yes. You will need to get independent legal advice before you sign a final Separation Agreement based on your mediated settlement.

Is the mediation legally binding?

Once you have signed the final Separation Agreement yes it is.

Will the mediator make decisions?

In mediation the parties make all decisions. If the mediator becomes an arbitrator then he makes decisions.

How is property divided in mediation?

The parties can agree to divide property based on the law which sets out the rules for dividing property or the parties can agree to divide based on what they think is fair but they are guided by Canadian and Ontario law and must see separate lawyers to obtain independent legal advice before finalizing a mediated settlement.