Mandatory mediation in Ontario! Recent announcement about Mandatory Mediation by the Ontario Government

There was an announcement about mandatory mediation by the Ontario Government. This announcement about mandatory mediation proved confusing for Ontario residents who seek information about the divorce mediation services Toronto has to offer.

The announcement about mandatory mediation suggests that divorce prices in Ontario might come down with the government-funded divorce mediation Ontario plan. But this announcement about mandatory mediation only applies to cases that are going through the court system and not to cases that resolve their disputes privately without going to Court.

Marriage mediation does in fact have the potential to reduce the overall cost of a legal separation because it usually takes less time to resolve disputes through marriage mediation than it takes to bring every issue in front of a judge. Mediation in divorce also decreases divorce prices in Ontario because the skills that the parties develop during the process of mediation in divorce will serve them well to resolve disputes that will arise post-separation.

Usually more than one session of mediation in divorce is required to complete the file. Families will therefore have to pay for other mediation sessions beyond the free one offered by the government. Divorce prices in Ontario may be reduced if families participate not only in one free divorce mediation session, but if they attend further for-pay divorce mediation sessions to complete the balance of their case. If they resolve all disputes with mediation, they will be able to obtain a final judgment without having to attend a trial, which is extremely painful and expensive.

But what really impacts divorce prices in Ontario is when families access services such as Collaborative Law negotiation or marriage meditation right from the beginning of their separation, rather than start a court action.  This is due to the adversarial nature of a court action, which:

  • increases the tension between the spouses;
  • brings out the worst in people;
  • puts one spouse against the other;
  • increases mistrust between spouses.

All of these factors increase divorce prices in Ontario.

When spouses select collaborative law negotiation or marriage mediation and do not start a court case, the overall cost of their dispute will be less than if they were to start a court case.  This is even accounting for court cases that take advantage of the free mediation in divorce program announced by the Ontario Government.

In my experience, the majority of families can and should resolve their separation issues using divorce mediation Ontario resources or collaborative law resources in Ontario.

I applaud the announcement of a free session of divorce mediation Ontario for families that must go to court, but I do encourage all families to first try to resolve their separation by looking for collaborative law or divorce mediation services Toronto first. Families that use divorce mediation and collaborative law services will also contribute to the decrease of the impact of divorce for all family members.

Resources regarding divorce mediation services Toronto and collaborative law services in Toronto are easy to find and we encourage you to use these resources (divorce mediation and collaborative law) rather than starting a court case.

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