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Online Mediation Services for Separating Couples in Ontario

Mediation versus Litigation

Couple in mediation

  Mediation or Litigation, what is best for me? This article summarizes the differences between these two options and hopefully it will help you make a decision on what is best for your situation.

  • Overview of Family Mediation:

    Divorce Mediation is a confidential process, guided by a neutral third party, who assists separating couples work through the terms of their separation.  A mediator listens to both parties and can provide options or suggestions that may assist in the negotiations.

    Although trained in family law, mediators have no authority to make decisions, or provide legal or financial advice.  The mediator acts as a facilitator to assist the parties in making decisions on matters such as finances, division of property and the parenting of their children.

    Mediation is confidential and only involves the mediator and the two parties (unless the parties agree otherwise). The Mediator will not disclose any information to third parties except as required by law. Any records or notes taken by the mediator cannot be used in any future court proceeding, and all records of the mediation are usually destroyed for this reason.

    Mediation is a faster, less expensive, and less stressful option for parties working through the terms of their separation. They have control over the outcome of their separation instead of a third-party, a judge, making decisions that might not work for them or their family.

    Mediation is the great alternative to the adversarial, legal process and allows the parties to work together in a more amicable fashion, to create a mutually acceptable Agreement.

    Mediation is the process by which a neutral third-party assists couples to reach an agreement on issues relating to their separation and is designed to create a win-win outcome.

    Overview of Litigation:

    Litigation involves retaining a lawyer who will act on your behalf represent you in court.  When legal action is needed to resolve your dispute, it may be necessary to resort to litigation. When is litigation necessary? 

    • If there has been a history of domestic violence in your relationship
    • If you are not able to advocate for yourself.        
    • If you are not able to advocate for yourself.  
    • If you believe in hiding assets.
    • If you or your spouse are incapacitated.

    Positive Solutions Divorce Services® has many clients who have come to us after spending years with their lawyers and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The unfortunate truth is the traditional legal process is adversarial by design.  It is based on a win-lose outcome and is extremely stressful.

    Mediation versus Litigation Summary

    In most cases, separating couples will find a better result if they choose mediation. If your intentions are to co-parent with minimal friction and manage your new situation without feeling like your life has ended – you should consider mediation before any other option.

    If your spouse agrees, seek the assistance of an Accredited Family Mediator who can help you draft the terms of your separation.  A mediator will help you save time and money and will support both of you through the process.

    If you’re ready to take the next step, book a free online introductory meeting with you and your spouse to better understand how Mediation could work for your situation.

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