Couples in Ontario who are ready to end their marriage might go through an alternative to divorce court called family mediation with a trained professional who helps them resolve their differences. The parties can attempt mediation at any time during their case. If it does not work, the parties can go to court. Family mediation offers several benefits. It is voluntary, and people can try to resolve their differences while reducing expenses. The professional also keeps the focus on what is best for the children. Participants work on improving their communication in a less formal setting, which could also benefit them in the future. While court is a public matter, mediation is private.
In order for mediation to work, clients must be willing to cooperate with the other party and not feel threatened by them. They should be open to listening to the other person and clearly communicating their concerns. Mediation can address a wide range of issues, including child custody, separation agreements, property division, child support, alimony, visitation and other related issues.