WHAT IS FAMILY MEDIATION?

Rights and responsibilities for couples are complicated when they separate.

Parenting, property division, and support are very dissimilar areas of law. The laws cross both federal and provincial lines. In some parts of the province, different parts of the same family law case even have to be argued in different courts!

Some laws are settled; other laws are not. Resolving differences in court can eat up time and money. And because no two families are identical, court results can be quite unpredictable. Who wants to spend huge sums of money on uncertain outcomes?

There is a better way.

I help individuals and families to save time and money, as well as protect children as their families re-organize.

Mediation is a type of process that lets all involved move forward in a more positive emotional state. It allows a private outcome of your family's personal matters, as opposed to the public record of family court.

Family mediation is a voluntary process. You work together in a respectful environment to find your own solutions tailored to your particular family.

When you reach a mediated agreement with proper financial disclosure and legal information, your agreement is as strong as a court order. Often, it is more lasting than a court order because you have participated in your own decision, rather than having one imposed upon you by a stranger.

What is a mediator?

A mediator is someone who has had special training to help spouses agree on issues without taking sides.

A mediator's job is to help you and your spouse come to a workable agreement. Mediators do not take sides. Mediators do not make decisions. Mediators do not tell you who is right and who is wrong. Instead, they help separating spouses talk about the things that they have to work out in a written agreement. Mediators help you find compromises and solutions.

Some lawyers, social workers, and other professionals are trained to be mediators.

What is an accredited family mediator?

The Accredited Family Mediator (AccFM) has become the standard in Ontario, recognized by the Ministry of the Attorney General and in the Family Court System. This designation is only available through the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM).

The OAFM is the largest governing body for mediators in Ontario. The association promotes and governs the mediation profession and grants accreditation to family mediators who have completed a rigorous program of education, training and internship. Their designation AccFM (OAFM) is sanctioned by the Ontario provincial government. AccFM applicants must endorse and adhere strictly to the OAFM code of professional conduct as set out in the Standards of Practice. Each AccFM mediator must carry insurance which covers the practice of family mediation, with a minimum level of coverage of $1,000,000.

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