Why should I use a Mediator?
Court litigation has traditionally been referred to as an adversarial process, with each party hiring a lawyer to advance his or her particular interests in the dispute. Parties start their spousal relationships with feelings of love, trust, and mutual respect, but when separation occurs, these feelings are often replaced by feelings of anger, betrayal, abandonment and resentment which are amplified by the nature of the adversarial process, making settlement of issues difficult.
Under the new Family Law Act, the Divorce Act, and the previous Family Relations Act, the legal principles are fairly clear, with most difficulties being encountered in the application of the law to the individual factual situation of the parties in dispute.
Family litigation is well known to be a slow, adversarial system where both parties work in opposition to each other, often rewarding those that want to fight rather than settle. As a result individuals often find the entire process not just costly and time consuming, but emotionally exhausting as well. In this adversarial system of winners and losers parties engage in lengthy back and forth communications stating positions, making offers and counter offers, and participating in a time consuming formal discovery process while advancing towards a trial date, with chamber applications and trial costs further adding to the cost to both parties.
Mediation has the advantage of having the parties communicate directly with each other in a structured and comfortable setting, assisted by an experienced neutral mediator who not only knows family law but is professionally trained in dispute resolution techniques. In addition to saving thousands in legal fees, the parties avoid the uncertainty of what might happen in court and avoid regarding each other as winners or losers in an adversarial process. This helps to avoid future bitterness and resentment, which can negatively impact children if children are involved.
A trained and experienced mediator will be able to encourage the dynamics of the parties understanding each other through learning and listening, in order to achieve the goal of respecting their differences and coming to a comprehensive and binding settlement of all relevant issues. A background in psychology on the part of the mediator very helpful to this process.