Discover Mediation Benefits And Why You Should Avoid Litigation
Mediation is the process of resolving conflict voluntarily by settlement.
The Canadian Bar Association defines mediation as, “the intervention into a dispute or negotiation by an acceptable, impartial and neutral third party who has no decision making power, to assist disputing parties in voluntarily reaching their own mutually acceptable settlement of issues in dispute”.
Family mediators and other professionals agree that litigation should be used as a last resort in most circumstances. Litigation can be very stressful, time consuming and costly for each opponent. Litigation can negatively impact children.
Mediation is a cost-effective and viable alternative to litigation or conflict and disagreements in many circumstances, including separation & divorce, child protection matters, family matters, elder matters, civil disputes, and workplace complications.
Members of the Peel Dufferin Family Mediation OAFM Chapter are accredited or certified mediators available to assist you.
All OAFM mediators are trained to help with family conflict. Some mediators are specialized in the following areas:
Child Protection and conflicts with the Children’s Aid Society
Financial Mediation for Equalization of Assets
Parenting Plans, Custody, and Visitation Rights
Separation & Divorce Law
Mental Health and Psychotherapy
Mediation vs. Litigation
Understand the benefits of mediation by comparing it to litigation below.
Mediating a family law matter
Litigating a family law matter
|Cost||• Disputes are resolved at a much lower cost when mediated.||• Cost of litigation can be vary. Each party is responsible to pay for every minute of time that your lawyer spends on your matter.
• From every telephone call, email and letter, to time spent on preparing for and appearing in Court on various occasions up to and including trial, the expense of litigating a divorce can be substantial.
|Time||• Mediation may also take time, but even a lengthy mediation will only last a couple of months, not years.||• Courts are often backlogged and a trial can take years to complete.|
|Convenience||• Parties can chose convenient dates and times to meet with their mediator.||• Parties must adhere to the dates and times set by the court. There is little to no flexibility.|
|Privacy||• Mediation is a confidential process where decisions are made in a private setting.
• Any communications between parties and their mediator are privileged unless there is evidence of child or spousal abuse.
|• All documents filed with the court are public records available to anyone to view and court hearings are also open to the public.
• In some instances, the judges will shield information from the public where sensitive information is involved.
|Amicability||• The parties collaborate on finding a solution. This helps to promote a healthier relationship between parties knowing that they both agreed on how to resolve the conflict together.||• Litigation by its very nature is adversarial.
One party typically prevails, causing resentment and bitterness from the other party.
|Fairness||• Mediators act in the best interest of both parties and help parties negotiate a fair settlement.||• Often times the party with “deeper pocket” are at an advantage. The party with more financial resources may be able to hire a more aggressive lawyer than the other party’s lawyer.|
|Who makes the final decision||• The outcome will be determined by you and your spouse.
• Where children are involved, you and your spouse will decide what is in the children’s best interest.
|• The outcome will be decided by a judge. Experts may be used to help reach a decision.
• Where children are involved, judges make the decision what is in their best interest. Experts may be called on to give their opinion of what is in the child’s best interest.
|Enforceability of the final decision||• The final settlement agreement reached by the parties can be filed with the court to become a final judgement.
• Once filed with the court, it is legally enforceable in the same manner as a court judgement.
|• All Court Orders, including the final decision are legally enforceable.|