Once you’ve made the decision to separate from your partner, the road ahead can seem impossible. You’ve heard the messy divorce stories from family and friends: endless arguments, mounting legal bills and years of back and forth. Divorce does sucks but it doesn’t have to be awful. Mediation in Ontario is a welcome alternative that can help you both move forward peacefully.
How does mediation in Ontario work?
A trained mediator is a neutral 3rd party who guides couples through the process of separation. They provide a safe, productive environment for couples to work through key separation issues including: division of assets, child support, parenting plans, spousal support and more. The end goal is a mediation agreement both parties agree to.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ontario lawyers are reporting a 40 percent increase in calls from couples seeking to end their marriages (source: CBC)
Mediation promotes healthy communication
When there’s so much emotion involved, things can easily get heated and communication breaks down, sometimes irreparably.
A mediator gives couples the tools to express their concerns and wishes in a non-judgemental atmosphere. With a focus on fairness and finding common ground, a mediator helps you work through issues and make difficult decisions.
Mediation is a cost-effective option
“Get a lawyer.” It’s often the first piece of advice well-meaning friends give you. And it can be very costly.
A lawyer’s job is to represent their client and get them the best deal possible—at any cost. It can take years to come to an agreement when the two sides are firmly separated. A mediator, on the other hand, is focused on bringing you both together for a faster resolution, at a fraction of the cost.
NOTE: In meditation, getting legal advice is a critical step but it’s the last one. Once the mediation agreement is drafted, we encourage each of you to hire a lawyer to finalize it. We can recommend Ontario lawyers to help.
Mediation prevents unnecessary stress
The road ahead won’t be an easy one. The end of your relationship will have an impact on your finances, your family and your heart.
It doesn’t have to get worse before it gets better. If you’ve both agreed you want to move on peacefully, mediation is your best chance at maintaining a civil, productive relationship. It puts both of you in control of your future as opposed to a judge who isn’t familiar with your situation.
Mediation produces agreement in 50 to 80 percent of cases (source: Divorce Info).
Mediation isn’t for everyone but it can work, if you both do. Your mediator takes a professional and compassionate approach to divorce in Ontario. She is dedicated to helping you through this challenging time towards a brighter future.
Jennifer Curry, South Simcoe Family Mediation