Frequently Asked Questions

What is divorce mediation?

Divorce Mediation is the process by which a neutral third party assists couples to reach an agreement on issues relating to their separation such as support payments, the division of property, custody of and access to the children, or any other family-related issues.

What is your process?

Our process is based on your specific needs and interests.

  • The first step is a Joint Consultation which provides you with information and determines the eligibility of mediation.
  • This is followed by Individual Meetings with both parties so the mediator can establish your interests and concerns in a safe, confidential environment.
  • The parties then proceed to Joint Meetings to discuss all issues pertaining to the breakdown of their marriage.
  • Finally, the Concluding Session will be used to review the Separation Agreement package and discuss the important steps needed to move forward as per your Agreement.

Do I need a lawyer?

Mediators do not provide legal advice and do not replace the knowledge and expertise of a lawyer.  Mediators assist separating couples to settle issues outside the adversarial court process. It is important for each client, at the very least, to obtain Independent Legal Advice prior to signing an Agreement. In certain situations, the mediator may refuse to continue mediation until the clients receive legal counsel.

How long is the process?

Mediation differs for each couple. On average, the mediation process takes about 2-3 months. This includes meeting time plus additional time to complete the appropriate documentation. If you come prepared to each meeting and are committed to the mediation process, the length of time could be less.

How much does it cost?

Depending on your own unique situation and needs, the average cost of a complete mediation including a completed Separation Agreement is $3,000 per person. (With high conflict couples or complex financial situations the price could be higher)

What is a Separation Agreement?

A Separation Agreement is a legally binding document that sets out the terms of your separation including:
i. How you will parent your children,
ii. How your property will be divided,
iii. Whether you will receive or pay child and/or child support and for how long etc.
A Separation Agreement does not mean that you are divorced.

What is the difference between a Separation and a Divorce?

Spouses will be considered “Separated” under the Ontario Family Law Act when they live separate and apart and there is no reasonable prospect that they will resume cohabitation. A divorce is a recognition from the Government that you are no longer married and allows ex-spouses to remarry. Typically, you have to wait for one year from the date of your separation to apply for a divorce.

I am confused by some of the custody terms I hear. Can you help clarify these terms?

When decisions are made on issues pertaining to your children regarding religion, education, non-urgent medical issues and special or extraordinary activities:

  1. Joint Custody means decisions are made together;
  2. Sole Custody means decisions are made by one parent.

The terms that refer to the residency of the children are:

  1. Shared Custody – Children live with both parents at least 40 percent of the time;
  2. Primary custody – Children live with one parent more than 60 percent of the time;
  3. Split Custody – One (or more) child lives primarily with one parent; one (or more lives primarily with the other parent.

These terms can be used in combination, for example: “joint shared custody”

How is child support calculated?

Parents have a legal responsibility to support their children financially. The federal government created the Child Support Guidelines to help parents determine what a fair amount of child support should be. The calculation takes into consideration the residential arrangements of the children, the number of children and the annual income of the parents.  Child support is the right of every child and cannot be waived by the receiving parent.

Will I have to pay spousal support?

There are a number of factors to consider when determining spousal support such as: the age of the recipient at date of separation, the number of years of marriage, the role of each spouse during the marriage, if there is to be child support payments made and education and employ-ability of the recipient.  Clients are encouraged to create a budget to determine their own specific financial needs to help prepare for this discussion.

How soon can I begin the process?

Usually the first appointment (joint consultation) can be booked within three business days.

What do we need to bring to our first appointment?

You need to bring a completed Client Questionnaire that you will receive when you book your first appointment.

Are you open on weeknights or weekends?

Depending on your location, some evening appointments are available. Please call to inquire at

1-888-779-8777 (We do not book appointments on weekends)

Where are you located?

We have 17 offices across Ontario to serve you better. Please visit our Locations Page on our website for more information.

What are your mediator’s credentials?

All of our mediators are Accredited Family Mediators through the Ontario Association of Family Mediation.

There are other mediators in my area, why should I choose Positive Solutions Divorce Services®?

  • You and your spouse have an opportunity to create your own Separation Agreement with the assistance of a mediator.
  • All of our mediators are Accredited Family Mediators through the Ontario Association of Family Mediation.
  • For your convenience, we have offices in most major cities in Ontario.
  • We have a live person always available to take your call.
  • In addition to mediation, we have carefully selected professional resources for all your separation needs.
  • We have customized packages specific to your situation. You will know your costs upfront.
  • We are committed to helping others through our Intern and education programs.
  • A portion of our revenue is given back to the community.