Preparing for Family Mediation
1. Find a Mediator
Work with an accredited mediator. This will ensure your mediator has met the professional training requirements, continues to update their skills, and abides by a standards of practice and code of conduct. There are several different governing bodies for mediation working to promote the industry in Ontario, they are: The Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM), Alternate Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (ADRIO), and Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO). All of these organizations work to ensure their members provide the best possible mediation service for their clients. IDEAL Mediation Inc. is affiliated with OAFM because the OAFM is recognized by the Attorney General of Ontario.
What to look for in a Mediator:
a. Are they an accredited mediator and with which organization?
(NOTE: If they lack accreditation – thank them for their time and move on to the next interview.)
b. What issues can be mediated?
c. Are they willing to work with lawyers?
d. What professionals make up their client support network?
You are encouraged to review the link below for further topics to discuss with prospective mediators (feel free to download or print the PDF):
2. Find a Lawyer
Mediators are not lawyers and do not provide legal advice.
Only lawyers are allowed to provide independent legal advice (ILA). The key is to receive independent legal advice before you decide on your terms. Clients of IDEAL Mediation Inc. are encouraged to contact a lawyer should they have any legal questions about their dispute before and during the mediation process. Advice from a lawyer outside the mediation process is necessary to ensure all parties know and understand their legal rights and responsibilities. This enables the parties to negotiate from their best position, avoid feeling deceived and increases the follow through on the terms reached.
What to look for in a Lawyer:
a. Is the lawyer willing to support the mediation process and allow you determine an effective resolution to your dispute?
b. Is the lawyer willing to provide you with legal advice before and during the mediation process?
c. Is the lawyer willing to sign a “limited retainer” for the purpose of providing independent legal advice without preparing for litigation?
d. Is the lawyer willing to review the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) prior to it being signed as a legal document?
You are encouraged to review the link below for further topics to discuss with your legal counsel (feel free to download or print the PDF):
3. Your Future
To make your future better than the past, your final terms should be achievable when they are founded on professional advice tailored to your individual circumstances. These terms are determined by your perceived value of any given topic. In order to have a firm understanding of a topic’s value, you must first be knowledgeable. For every topic discussed, you should at the least know your legal rights and responsibilities, tax implications, identify short and long term risks, the financial costs and most importantly the emotional ramifications on everyone affected by the final terms.
Clients of IDEAL Mediation Inc. are encouraged to speak with a subject matter expert who possesses the knowledge to discuss and provide advice about your potential options. Knowing your options will allow you to negotiate the best possible terms based on your needs. It is in your best interest to be knowledgeable about every topic before discussing possible terms during mediation.
You are encouraged to review the Resources section of the website, as well as the links below for topics of interest you may wish to discuss with professionals (feel free to download or print any or all of the PDFs):
Taxes and Debts: