Skip to Main Content
Divorce & Separation Mediation

Ottawa Divorce Mediation & Arbitration Assistance Services

Top Ottawa Divorce Mediation Assistance Services

The image many people have of a divorce proceeding involves frightening courtroom theatrics, never-ending disputes between the parties, and inevitable trauma. However, the reality is that many family law disputes are resolved without even going to court. It is widely agreed that prolonged or high-conflict divorces and separations can cause significant psychological and financial damage to the participants, especially children, who could be negatively affected in the process. Families are now actively encouraged to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques wherever possible under family law procedures. RPB Family Law provides Ottawa families with assistance during mediation services. Our experienced lawyers go the extra mile to ensure our clients know their rights and help them reach a satisfying agreement. Get in touch with our team today!

Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods in Ottawa

ADR methods can significantly reduce the length, cost, and negative emotional impact of a divorce proceeding. The Ontario judicial system aims to exhaust every possible method of conflict resolution before the parties end up on a trial with the goal of both saving the judicial and the parties’ resources and their valuable time.

What is Divorce Mediation?

One of the most commonly utilized methods of ADR is mediation. In essence, the mediation process is a negotiation facilitated by the mediator, who is an impartial third party. What makes the mediation process distinct from other ADR methods such as arbitration, which is a process that resembles the trial proceeding, is the mediator’s inability to make the final decision for the parties.

The Role of the Mediator

Throughout the mediation session and the interviews conducted with the parties beforehand, the mediator will familiarize himself/herself with each party’s side of the story and will assist parties to see their issues from the other party’s perspective and mutually reach a decision that both are onboard with. The mediator’s role in a mediation session is to facilitate the resolution of the parties’ disputes by supervising the communication and the bargaining process.

The mediator will make recommendations on where compromises can be made and assist the parties to find a common ground and manage their unrealistic expectations.  It is never the job of the mediator to dictate an outcome or to compel a party to agree to something they are not comfortable with. Rather, the goal is to help the parties communicate and come to a solution that works for both. Resolutions are reached on the consent of both parties during mediation. The mediator can also assist the parties reach a binding agreement and facilitate drafting a final settlement.

The Mediation Process in Ottawa

Mediation is a hands-on and task-oriented process. The process is usually less time-consuming compared to a traditional legal proceeding and can help parties avoid unnecessary legal costs. It also provides the parties with more privacy and a high degree of flexibility compared to the court proceedings. Mediation sessions typically last for up to 10 hours. The session may be spread over one or more segments. It is an informal and confidential process and is usually conducted in a meeting room at the mediator’s office.

Most of the time, the mediator meets with both parties and their attorneys in the same room, but he or she may also spend some time 

having individual conversations with each party to try and come to an agreement.

Prior to the mediation session, you and your lawyer will discuss your hopes, goals, and ideal outcomes. You also need to clarify the areas where you might be willing to make a compromise and your non-negotiables. It is recommended that you commence the mediation process with a clear image of the outstanding issues and where you stand in regard to those matters.

Is Divorce Mediation the Right Option for Me?

If you are considering mediation, various elements, and factors will contribute to your suitability for the process. Before deciding whether mediation is the right option for you, we recommend you speak with our experienced Ottawa family law lawyer. As every family dispute is unique, your needs and goals must be evaluated based on a realistic perspective of your situation and your relationship dynamic with your former spouse.

Successful mediation requires open and honest discussions and a flexible attitude toward problem-solving. For example, mediation might not be the right option for you if there is an imbalance of power present in your and the other party’s relationship. In other cases where there is a history of abuse or ongoing abuse, mediation would not benefit the parties.

It is important to fully evaluate whether mediation is the right process for you to avoid further delays, expenses, and trauma. In most family disputes, the common goal is to resolve the issues in the most efficient way. In certain situations, mediation not only doesn’t help the parties reach this goal, It even further complicates the matter. Therefore, it is significantly important to have a detailed discussion with your lawyer before committing to the mediation process.

Do I Need an Ottawa Family Lawyer Throughout the Mediation Process?

During the mediation session, it is your lawyer’s responsibility to provide you with legal advice and not the mediator’s. The mediator will instead act as a “go-between” to help facilitate communication between the parties. However, the mediator cannot force the parties to agree, and cannot impose an outcome. If an agreement is not reached, however, the parties may decide to pursue their claims in other forums.

Having access to legal advice is crucial throughout all the steps of the mediation process and specifically when an agreement is reached. Parties will benefit immensely from having the final Agreement reviewed by a lawyer before it is executed. Parties must make sure that their legal rights are protected and that they don’t agree to terms and clauses that would have a negative impact on their rights and liabilities in the future. Having someone by your side who knows your case, your goals, and your desired outcome, has knowledge of the applicable laws to your situation and has your best interest in mind will make the mediation process significantly easier and less overwhelming.

You may feel more in charge of the process because mediation enables you to directly participate in drafting the resolution of the issues between you and your spouse. You will unavoidably need to make some concessions in order to reach a settlement during mediation, so be prepared for that. However, the mediator might be able to assist you and your spouse in reaching a customized agreement that strikes a reasonable balance between the specific issues you both have. Your attorneys are instrumental in defending your rights at every stage of the procedure. Your attorney will see to it that your rights are upheld and that nothing you agree to during the mediation will put you in a disadvantageous situation later on.

Professional Ottawa Divorce & Separation Mediation Services

If you are going through separation or a divorce, and contemplating whether mediation would be the right option for you, the experienced lawyers at RPB Ottawa Family Law will be able to provide you with the guidance you need. Book a consultation today with one of our experienced lawyers through our website.

Talk to an Ottawa Divorce Lawyer Today

RPB Family Law, an Ottawa-based family law firm, is dedicated to helping families find the best solutions to their problems. From divorce cases to child custody agreements, we approach every case with compassion and an open mind because we know that every family is different.

Our attorneys are highly experienced in all areas of Family Law in Ottawa and are willing to help you through any process. Contact us today at (613) 216-5044 to schedule a consultation with an experienced Ottawa Divorce Lawyer to discuss your case.

Contact Us