Can You Use a Mediator to File For a Divorce?
If you are going through a divorce, you may be exploring alternative dispute resolution methods. One option that you may have come across in your search is mediation. Can you finalize the terms of your divorce in mediation? The short answer is yes. However, whether mediator will be effective is dependent on the circumstances surrounding your divorce.
What is mediation?
During mediation, you and your spouse will meet with a divorce mediator whose aim is to help you resolve your issues without going to court. A divorce mediator does not make any decisions for you and cannot take any sides. Their primary purpose is to help both parties make compromises to reach a divorce agreement. Since mediation is a voluntary process, you cannot force another party into it. That means you and your spouse must both agree to the process.
While a divorce mediator does not have to be a legal professional, some lawyers are trained mediators. But even if you choose a lawyer as your mediator, that lawyer cannot offer either you or your spouse independent legal advice. For that reason, you may still want to hire a divorce lawyer to represent during the process. If you do not wish for your lawyer to attend the mediation sessions with you, they can still provide guidance. Your lawyer can inform you how the law applies to your situation and explain how the process of mediation works before you even go to a meeting. Your lawyer will also review any agreements before you sign to ensure your rights are protected.
What happens if mediation fails?
If mediation or other methods do not help you and your spouse to reach an agreement, you may then need to let the courts decide. When your divorce goes to court, it is even more important for you to have a divorce lawyer on your side.
Your lawyer will prepare documents and argue to show the merit in your position. Your divorce lawyer may even call experts and other witnesses to present arguments on your behalf. After all this is done, the family court judge who presided over the case will decide on the matter.
Are you searching for a divorce lawyer in Toronto?
If you are looking for a divorce lawyer to represent you in Toronto, contact us at Baker and Baker Family Law.
At Baker and Baker Family Law, our lawyers have a wide range of backgrounds, including experience in mediation as well as complex matters of custody, support, professional practice and business valuations, and complex tax and pension matters. And with over 90 years of combined experience, we are in a strong position to help.
Generally, we advise our clients to start with mediation since it is usually far less expensive and time-consuming than any other process and helps protect your children and the rest of your family from needless conflict. During the mediation process, we will allow you to try to settle as many of the issues between you and the other party as possible. We will only intervene to advise you of your rights. If mediation does not work, we will then step in to negotiate with your spouse’s attorney to find a solution. If all else fails, as a last resort, we will go to court on your behalf.