My spouse and I are already litigating through attorneys; can we still mediate?
Absolutely. In many cases, parties commence mediation during the litigation process. In the majority of these cases, the parties are able to reach a settlement and resolve their differences.
Can I mediate through Zoom and Microsoft Teams?
Yes, our mediations are done on both these platforms.
How long does the mediation process take?
It all depends on the complexity of the issues in dispute, and the level of cooperation of the parties. In the majority of our mediations, the process consists of 2 one-hour individual sessions (one with each party) and a 90 minute joint session. These sessions are usually spaced over a period of two days. If the mediation is successful, the final Settlement Agreement / Parenting Plan is usually provided to the parties within 48 hours. The length of the process is dependent on you providing us with all the requested information in the online mediation questionnaire.
Does the mediator make any decisions on behalf of the parties or have they the final say. Can he rule on anything that is binding on us?
No, not at all. The mediator merely assists the parties to reach a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable agreement on their own. If the parties cannot agree on an aspect, the mediator has absolutely no power to make any decision on behalf of the parties.
Can I still consult my lawyer during the mediation process?
Yes. Both parties are encouraged to obtain independent legal advice during the mediation process, and to have their lawyer review the agreement before it is signed. Even when the mediator is a lawyer, he/she cannot give either party legal advice.
Can I still mediate if there are children involved?
Absolutely. The Courts encourage parties to mediate when there are children involved. In fact, some legislation like the Children’s Act prescribe that parties MUST mediate in certain circumstances.
Will a court take a parties' failure to mediate into consideration should my divorce remain opposed by the other party?
Yes, mediation is becoming more and more compulsory and our courts have ruled in a number of cases that a deliberate unwillingness to mediate will result in such a party having to pay all the legal costs.
What if my spouse is a bully?
An experienced mediator will never allow one party to overpower or bully the other party in mediation.
Can a case be too complicated for mediation?
No case is too complicated to be settled through mediation. Frequently the parties in mediation consult with outside experts such as accountants, financial planners and attorneys during the process.
What happens after we settled?
Your mediator will draft a settlement agreement and a parenting plan (when there are children involved). Both you and your spouse or partner will then sign the agreement. If you don't have an appointed attorney your mediator will draft the necessary documents to conclude the divorce. One of the parties must appear in court ultimately to conclude the divorce.