Mediation In Family Law Cases NOT Involving Divorce
You might be familiar with divorce mediation or possibly even participated in the process when dissolving your marriage, but you may not realize that mediation is available in many other family law matters. The Mediation Fact Sheet published by the Government of Canada includes some information about the proceedings, in which a trained mediator facilitates productive conversation between the parties in an attempt to help them reach agreement. Mediation offers numerous benefits over litigation, as it is less formal, non-adversarial, and can result in a mutually acceptable solution to a disagreement. Plus, the parties are not bound by the outcome. If dissatisfied, you can still take your case to court.
However, aside from divorce, you might not see how mediation could play a role in other Canadian family law matters. In truth, mediation is the preferred way to handle disputes in this area, considering the impact of emotions and close relationships. An Ontario family lawyer can advise you on the details, but it is helpful to know when mediation is available.
Common Family Law Mediation Cases
The concept of family covers more than just marriage, so you can expect to face these issues in connection with many other relationships. With the exception of cases involving domestic abuse or extreme animosity, mediation is ideal for addressing family law issues. Choosing mediation is voluntary, and it may be appropriate for disputes involving:
- Separation for Common Law Couples: Even if you did not marry, partners may have had children and/or acquired substantial assets. Some divorce law concepts apply to these situations, so mediation is a way to resolve disputes as common law couples end their relationship.
- Issues Related to Minor Children: Both parents will always have rights and responsibilities related to minor children, regardless of whether they were married, common law partners, or simply had a fling. Mediation is effective for addressing custody and visitation.
- Grandparent Rights: Canada laws generally give great deference to parents when deciding how to raise children, but grandparents may have rights in some cases.
- Guardianship: Because incapacitated adults and minor children do not have legal capacity, a person must be appointed to handle guardianship over the estate and person of the ward.
How a Family Lawyer Can Help with Mediation
Though mediation is more relaxed than litigation in many ways, you still have important rights to protect. Legal representation is critical in the preparation phases, during the proceeding, and after mediation concludes. A family lawyer supports your interests by:
- Collecting evidence;
- Preparing the mediation brief that outlines the facts and areas of dispute;
- Reviewing all information that the opposing side intends to introduce at mediation;
- Assessing your goals and the strengths and weaknesses of your case;
- Advocating on your behalf during mediation; and,
- Completing any follow-up tasks, such as preparing an agreement and entering proper court orders.
Trust a Mississauga, ON Family Lawyer to Support You During Mediation
To learn more about how the mediation process helps resolve Canadian family law disputes, please contact Zagazeta Garcia Lawyers LLP. Individuals in Mississauga, Brampton and the Peel Region can set up a complimentary consultation by calling 905-232-0398 or visiting us online. We offer additional details after reviewing your situation.