Although divorce is never a pleasant process, options are available to make the process much smoother, including divorce mediation. Although the process may appear overwhelming at first, choosing the perfect divorce mediator is now easier than ever. Various skilled professionals can be found in most major Ontario cities, outlying suburbs, and small towns. For example, the majority of divorce mediators will be found in major centres, such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Kingston. 

Divorce Mediation Basics

Divorce mediation helps individuals resolve conflicts in parenting, custody, support, divorce, and separation. In other words, divorce mediation can be described as a process that attempts to help parties reach an agreement through a neutral third party, such as a divorce mediator.

The length of divorce mediation depends on a few factors, including the number and types of issues to be mediated, degree of conflict, and degree of communication and cooperation between parties.

Benefits of Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation has a great deal of benefits. For example, divorce mediation is often voluntary, meaning that parties can leave at any time. It also provides parties with an opportunity to work out problems and issues. It may also redirect focus from conflict to trying to reach an amicable solution. Best of all, divorce mediation is often less costly and much quicker than expensive and drawn out court battles. This is better for the mental health of all parties involved, including children. Finally, this process is much more private than a court case.

However, for divorce mediation to work, both parties must be willing to try to work out a solution with the other party, feel safe to meet to discuss options, and be able to communicate needs effectively, while listening to the other party’s needs as well.

Types of Divorce Mediations 

Divorce mediations cover a variety of issues, including, but not limited to, parenting issues, such as custody and access. In addition, issues, such as child support payments, spousal and partner support payments, and division of property can often be mediated as well.

Cost of Divorce Mediation

The cost of divorce mediation depends on a variety of factors, including type of attorney, severity of case, and geographical location.

Cost is also greatly influenced by the initial set up fee during the first meeting, which will lay the foundation for the rest of the mediation. Information will be gathered, and divorce mediation will be explained in depth. The partners will then be urged to develop an agenda for the rest of the mediation process.

Be aware that the information gathering stage can also take place after the initial first meeting, depending on the divorce mediator. In this stage, the divorce mediator will also discuss general legal rules that can be applied to the particular case.

Secondly, the number of sessions required will also play a factor in total cost. Some couples may reach an agreement after 2 to 4 sessions, while some require 10 or more.

During these sessions, divorce mediators will ask couples to bring in tax returns and financial statements, such as bank and mortgage statements. Throughout each session, the divorce mediator will summarize information assembled and presented.

During additional sessions, the divorce mediator will urge parties to outline their particular concerns, priorities, values, and goals. This information will help the mediator frame the core goal of the divorce mediation.

Next, the divorce mediation will transition into the negotiating stage. This will helps parties negotiate an acceptable settlement. Both parties will evaluate available options until they can be narrowed down to the best possible outcome. 

In the next problem solving stage, parties will try to agree on finding settlement options. The focus will be on trading off acceptable options, as opposed to zero sum bargaining and ultimatums.

Many divorce mediators also offer free consultations, so do not hesitate to inquire.

On average, Ontario divorce mediators charge approximately$100 to $300 CAD per hour, with total costs between $500 and $1,500 CAD. Often the maximum cost of divorce mediator is $8,000 CAD.

Additional costs should be considered as well. These include cancelling a previously booked session, filing a request for mediation, requesting a written record of each mediation, and the billing of a case management fee.

Other costs can also include preparing a base separation agreement for $990 CAD. To this sum, child support can be added for $360 CAD, spousal support for $350 CAD, and division of pension for $350 CAD. In addition, preparing a child support calculation can be added for $125 CAD. 

In contrast, consider costs of heading to court. For example, in Canada, a non-contested divorce or separation costs between $5,100 and $7,400 CAD, while contested divorces and separations cost $19,500 to $35,500 CAD. In total, this can cost each partner between $24,600 to $42,900 CAD.

Choosing the Right Divorce Mediator

Asking friends, family, and coworkers for divorce mediation recommendations is an option. However, for those who prefer a little more privacy, consider searching Google reviews and business websites, which often include client testimonials.

Consider asking other professionals in your life, such as lawyers, doctors, and dentists, for recommendations as well.

Ensure that the divorce mediator has a good reputation, and that they are in good standing with the legal governing body. Ensure that they have proper credentials and licenses.

In addition, ensure that you feel comfortable with your mediator. Do they appear empathetic to your situation? Do you feel heard? Do you feel comfortable disclosing personal information? Do they respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner?

Do not hesitate to discuss costs. Do they offer financing plans or sliding scale rates? Do they charge by the hour or on a case by case basis?

Finding a divorce mediator in Ontario is now easier than ever. Contact your local divorce mediator today to discuss options.