FAMILY MEDIATION

EFFECTIVELY RESOLVING DISPUTES OUTSIDE THE COURTROOM

If you are looking for an alternative to the time and expense of litigation or a trial, mediation may be the right choice for you. Mediation is a conversation facilitated by a mediator with the goal of reaching an agreement between participants. Mediation has the distinct advantage of allowing the parties to develop creative solutions to their dispute that suit their specific situation while retaining control of the outcome.

Weilers Law offers flexible and affordable mediation services both in person and online.  Mediations can be scheduled per hour or in half and full-day sessions. Please contact our office for more information or to make an appointment.

OUR FAMILY MEDIATION TEAM

Margaret Waddington has been practicing in family law for 5 years. In addition to her years of practice, Margaret has completed multiple courses in mediation techniques and domestic violence. She is currently working towards her accreditation with the Ontario Association of Family Mediators and offers services exclusively in family mediation. Margaret works collaboratively with families to help them reach resolution while empowering participants to address their concerns in a meaningful way. Margaret welcomes participants from all family structures, communities and cultures in her mediation practice.

Martha Petryshyn. Ms. Petryshyn has been practicing primarily in family law for over 30 years. She is also an experienced child advocate with over 25 years of service with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer. As a mediator Martha relies on her years of experiences as a family lawyer and her understanding of the court process to assist parties in reaching a resolution outside of court. Martha specializes in matters regarding complicated asset division and complex spousal support issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mediator?

A mediator is a neutral third party that assists participants in resolving conflict.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a conversation or negotiation facilitated by a mediator with the goal of reaching an agreement between participants.

What happens during family mediation?

In family mediation, all participants meet privately with the mediator prior to any joint sessions to discuss their concerns, the issues they would like to explore and to discuss the process in more detail.

During mediation both parties are giving the opportunity to present their views and preferences with the assistance of the mediator. The mediator will help the participants explore potential resolutions that address their concerns to seek an agreement. Along the way, the mediator may provide their opinion or information to help the parties reach an agreement, but at the end of the day the final resolution is in the hands of the parties.

What is the purpose of family mediation?

The purposes of mediation is to help the participants find common ground to resolve conflict in a manner that is acceptable to all parties. Mediation can also be used to narrow down the issues that need to be addressed in a more formal setting.

What are the advantages of family mediation?

Mediation is often faster and more cost effective than other alternatives.

Mediation is a much more flexible process than litigation or arbitration as the process can be tailored to the participants’ needs and personal situation.

The other advantage of mediation is that the participants retain control of the outcome and all involved need to agree. This regularly leads to longer lasting resolutions than court imposed Orders.

How much does family mediation costs?

Mediation costs vary depending on the number of session required and the experience of the mediator. Our office provides family mediation at an hourly rate, however we generally recommend half or full day mediation sessions so that the expense is more predictable for participants. The cost of mediation is often shared by the parties, although other arrangements can be made. Please contact our office to receive more information about a particular mediator’s rates.

How long does family mediation take?

Mediation does not have a fixed timeline. Although it is rare for all issues to be resolved in a single session. The more engaged and prepared the participants are in the process, generally the faster mediation will conclude. The number and complexity of issues to be addressed is also an important factor.

How do I prepare for family mediation? What should I bring?

It is always beneficial for participants to come into mediation well informed regarding their rights and obligations or potential liability. We strongly recommend that all participants consult with a lawyer prior to mediation.

Participants should come with any documents they may have addressing their matter and an open mind.

Can I bring someone with me to family mediation?

Generally speaking, the only attendees at mediation are the participants. Should you wish to attend with a support person or relative please inform the mediator ahead of time to discuss if this is appropriate and to make any necessary arrangements.

Counsel are always welcome to attend mediation with their clients, however their role in doing so should be discussed with the mediator prior to their attendance.

Can the children be involved in family mediation?

In family mediation it is often important to hear the views and preferences of the child, particularly if they are older adolescents. Although their involvement in the mediation and the conflict itself is not advised, if appropriate, the mediator may suggest that a Voice of the Child Report be completed and presented to participants as part of the mediation process.

Do I need a lawyer to go to mediation?

Legal representation is not mandatory to participate in mediation. All participants in mediation are however recommended to consult with counsel prior to entering mediation.

Is family mediation legally binding?

Mediation is not legally binding. If the participants are successful at mediation, the mediator will draft a report summarizing their agreement. The participants are then encouraged to have this report converted into a legally binding contract or Agreement.

Can I skip family mediation and go to court?

There is currently no legal requirement to attempt mediation prior to attending court. However, Canadian law does require individuals to consider whether mediation is a viable alternative prior to proceeding to court in family matters.

If I go to family mediation am I stuck there?

Mediation is a completely voluntary process. If any participant, or the mediator, feels that mediation is not proceeding in a productive manner or is no longer appropriate than mediation stops.

There has been domestic violence in our relationship, can we still use family meditation?

Issues of domestic or intimate partner violence do not automatically disqualify participants from entering mediation. Our office believes that all participants should have the ability to choose the process that works best for them and their family so long as any safety concerns can be adequately addressed.

For more information please contact:

CONTACT WEILERS LAW OFFICE

WEILERS LAW

For 70 years, Weilers has been a trusted and effective business and legal partner to the Northwestern Ontario community.

ADDRESS

Weiler Maloney Nelson
1001 William St., Ste 201
Thunder Bay ON P7B 6M1

CONTACT

Phone: (807) 623-1111
Toll-Free: (866) 934-5377 • 1-866-WEILERS
Fax: (807) 623-4947 Email: weilers@wmnlaw.com

WEILERS LAW

For 70 years, Weilers has been a trusted and effective business and legal partner to the Northwestern Ontario community.

ADDRESS

Weiler Maloney Nelson
1001 William St., Ste 201
Thunder Bay ON P7B 6M1

CONTACT

Phone: (807) 623-1111
Toll-Free: (866) 934-5377 • 1-866-WEILERS
Fax: (807) 623-4947 Email: weilers@wmnlaw.com