When to Use Mediation During Divorce Proceedings?

When To Use Mediation During Divorce Proceedings

Mediation is a practice in divorce proceedings where a third party intervenes (of course, with the consent of the divorcé and divorcée). This comes in use when there are significant issues that are of complex nature. The enduring process of Mediation can usually bring both the spouses on the same page. It has an effective, proven history of helping couples with their divorce proceedings. The main purpose of Mediation is to seek a neutral and unbiased opinion.

What to Look For in a Mediator?

As for the mediator, it is recommended to seek the one who has a good relevant background. The relevant experience of the mediator should be sought based on the core of the problem. For example, suppose the couple is having trouble with property distribution. In that case, a mediator with a financial background with some real estate experience is highly recommended. While if the problem is more of the spouse’s unstable behaviour, then a mediator with a psychology or behavioural management background should be sought. And if the issue is of the legal genre, then a lawyer should be hired as a mediating person. In Canada, a mediator must have an association with any of the following organizations.

  • Ontario Association for Family Mediation
  • Family Mediation Canada
  • FDRIO (Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario)
  • ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Institute of Ontario

Stages of Divorce and Mediation

When a divorce has been filed, there are a few important stages of further proceedings. The first stage is where the conflict arises, and then the spouses try to bring it up formally or informally. This is the stage where Mediation should be put to use, ideally. In order to avoid the conflict to become complex, it is essential to seek Mediation immediately. If, because of some confusion, neither of the spouses seek Mediation and the divorce proceeds to the next stage where the conflict has to be settled, it is still not too late.

The purpose of the Mediation, as we discussed earlier, is to establish a workable and stable relationship. This is achieved by stabilizing the conflict by reaching the core of the issue at hand. It is also very effective in bringing your spouse to the same perspective as you are. Thus, resolving your issues on your terms can be achieved through seeking Mediation in the early stages.

When is Mediation Not Needed

Mediation can work out for most couples. But in some cases, it is not recommended. For example, if one of the spouses has severe behaviour issues like being violent or extremely harsh and hurting intentionally, then Mediation can become adverse. Considering this behaviour, the spouse can agree to the Mediation. Since the mediator cannot take any legal action, the ill-intentioned spouse can potentially delay the divorce proceedings to a torturous amount of time. Thus, the understanding that needs to be established is when your spouse is willing to participate, that is the best time and scenario for seeking a mediation.


Mediation is not the only way that can solve all the problems of your marriage. However, it is a very good opportunity to go out of your ordinary discussions and take a neutral opinion. As we discussed above, this opinion is best when the mediator is chosen based on your complexity of the situation.

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Written by: the Divorce Fast Team

Our team of Ontario lawyers has over 15 years of experience handling divorce and other family law matters.

All of our lawyers are in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario, and have the knowledge and experience to help and guide you through your family law issues. Whether your matter pertains to divorce, separation, custody/access, or support claims, we are the firm for you.

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