What is mediation?
Question & AnswerWhat is mediation?
2. Agree on a mediator
You and your partner need to agree on who to hire as your mediator.
Your issues can help you decide who to hire. Lawyers and retired judges often mediate property or support related issues. Social workers and mental health professionals often mediate and issues. These used to be called and .
A mediator doesn't work for you the way a lawyer does. Mediators balance your needs with your partner's needs. They don't have to keep their discussions with you private from your partner, like your lawyer does. But you should still feel comfortable with your mediator.
Before hiring your mediator see if they:
- have experience dealing with cases like yours
- listen to you
- make you feel comfortable and not rushed
- explain things in a way you can understand
- answer your questions about the process
- work with a disability you may have
- are accredited or certified, which is explained below
- will screen you and your partner to make sure that the can be fair and safe, this is discussed in Step 3
Find a mediator
Each family court location in Ontario offers subsidized mediation services. You can get up to 8 hours of mediation for a fee that is based on each person's income. You can use this service whether or not your have a court case. And if you have a court case, you can get up to 2 hours of mediation for free at the court.
You can find mediators with lower fees through JusticeNet. JusticeNet is a not-for-profit that helps people in Ontario whose income is too high to get legal aid and too low to afford standard legal fees.
There are several organization that set standards for mediators in Ontario. You can find an accredited or certified mediator through:
- Ontario Association for Family Mediation
- Family Mediation Canada
- The ADR Institute of Ontario
- the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario
An accredited or certified mediator has completed special training and has professional liability insurance. This means that they have insurance in case someone sues them for not mediating properly.
Your lawyer might also recommend a mediator.