Divorce Arbitration vs Mediation: Which Is Best?
Although the media informs us otherwise, Divorce proceedings do not have to be acrimonious. Even for couples who have some conflicts, the Divorce process may be abbreviated through Divorce Mediation and/or Arbitration. Our experienced divorce lawyers at Fine & Associates Professional Corporation can help you identify which dispute resolution option best meets your (and your spouse’s) needs and provide legal advice throughout the mediation or arbitration process.
Understanding the Differences between Collaborative Law, Divorce Mediation and Arbitration in Ontario
In Ontario, there are several methods for resolving issues arising out of a breakdown of a marriage that do not involve court proceedings.
Collaborative Law is used when divorcing parties are committed to ending the marriage amicably and are committed to amicably resolving their disputes about property division,spousal support, child support, child custody, etc. During Collaborative Law, both spouses have lawyers who advise them on issues that arise while working towards finalizing the Separation Agreement. The goal is for the parties to enter into a binding Separation.
Divorce Mediation may be used when divorcing parties are having difficulty coming to an Agreement on one or more issues. In Divorce Mediation, an experienced Family Law Lawyer, or other qualified mediator, is called in as a neutral third party to assist the spouses to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. The Mediator does not make a decision that is binding on the parties.
Like mediation, arbitration requires a neutral third party to help spouses reach a resolution on disputed issues. The primary difference is that Arbitration is like a private trial. To resolve issues, parties must present evidence and documentation to an experienced Family Law Lawyer or Judge who makes the final determination. The determination is legally binding, although it may be appealed to a court.
Each alternative to litigation allows divorcing couples more control over the process of divorce and typically resolves cases more quickly (and more inexpensively) than litigation.
When to Use Divorce Mediation or Arbitration
Divorce Mediation is a good alternative to litigation for couples who are able to address each other face-to-face, there are no power imbalances, and the parties are willing to resolve their disputes amicably. If there is a history of domestic abuse in the marriage, Divorce Mediation may not be advisable. Divorce Arbitration may be a good alternative if the parties do not want their issues to be a matter of public record and want more control over when their matter will be heard and how it will be determined. To find out what method of Divorce proceedings meets your needs, contact a Family Law Lawyer at Fine & Associates Professional Corporation in Toronto.
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Divorce Mediation and Arbitration in Toronto
The Family Law Lawyers at Fine & Associates Professional Corporation have over 20 years of experience helping Toronto families amicably separate without stepping inside a Court Room. Lorne Fine is certified in Collaborative Law and has advised many clients during mediation and arbitration cases.
To avoid a drawn out and expensive court case, go with divorce mediation or arbitration.