Family Law Mediation vs. Arbitration

Mediation and arbitration are both reasonable alternatives to avoid the stress and conflict of court. However, these processes are very different. Greg Cooper offers both options at his Toronto practice, Cooper ADR.

Typically, couples retain Greg as a mediator/arbitrator. Mediation is attempted first. If it does not conclude with a settlement, Greg takes on the role of arbitrator. When you retain the services of Cooper ADR, Greg will ensure you have a full understanding of how mediation and arbitration work and which option is right for you.

Mediation: Reaching Agreement

When Greg acts as a mediator, his role is to help you and your spouse reach an agreement. His role is as a facilitator — he does not have the authority to impose a final settlement. He can, and does, use his knowledge and experience to suggest possible solutions to issues of central importance in your divorce. Ultimately, however, the final terms of a separation agreement are up to you.

Arbitration: Imposed Settlement

Arbitration is usually the next step after an unsuccessful mediation. In arbitration, Greg's role shifts to one that is similar to a private judge. Greg will hold a hearing, evidence will be presented and will be subject to examination and cross-examination. When arbitration concludes, Greg will write an award — the terms of a separation agreement — that you and your spouse are bound by. An arbitration award is equivalent to a court order.

Toronto Family Lawyer ♦ Offering Mediation And Arbitration Services

By far, most of Greg's clients achieve an agreement during the mediation stage, even if they have agreed to mediation/arbitration. Greg's ability to listen attentively to both sides and suggest compromise makes him a successful facilitator, in particular for property division negotiations in Ontario divorces.

To learn more, contact Cooper ADR at 416-346-5675 in Toronto or contact the practice online.