Divorce mediation in Canada: Navigating the steps

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute LLP posted in Divorce Mediation on Monday, April 2, 2018.

Divorce comes with baggage. And that baggage needs to be unpacked, and often the way of doing that in Canada is through divorce mediation. The answers to issues usually aren’t found in one or two mediation sessions, but through a series of them where the couple comes to the table with the goal of ironing out their differences, especially when it comes to their children.

The days, and sometimes months, before mediation may be filled with ongoing animosity, anger, indifference, fear and other emotions that clearly show that mediation is not only needed, but necessary. When an estranged couple can at least agree on this point, they’re well on their way to the actual mediation phase. In other words, they have agreed that mediation is important for each of them to be able to move forward.

Having a third-party mediator may make communication between the two parties a little more palatable even if strong emotions are initially brought to the table. A mediator will take the time to assess the situation and give each individual the chance to be heard without siding with anyone. A mediator acts as a referee of sorts when behaviours may get out of hand.

When participants don’t trust each other — as is the case in many divorces — it is crucial that a mediator is present to make sure the two people don’t veer off the road to constructively reaching decisions on contentious issues. The road may often be rocky. But a mediator will keep the vision clear — to have each person’s interests met in the most comfortable way possible.

Divorce mediation is not for the faint-hearted. A lawyer in Canada can help in the mediation process by acting on his or her client’s behalf in these discussions. It may be wise to have the advice and counsel of a family lawyer who may be able to provide invaluable advice during these sessions.

Source: yoursocialworker.com, “Getting Through the 6 Stages of Mediation”, Gary Direnfeld, Accessed on March 23, 2018

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