Those of us in the alternative dispute resolution field are enthusiastic about the Family Law Act that came into effect in this province in 2013. It actually turned the priorities around for Family Law, encouraging couples to make every effort to resolve matters through negotiated agreements first, rather than going to court. The hope is that couples will only turn to the courts when they need someone else to make decisions for them.
But for most families? Mediation is the appropriate family dispute resolution process for them. This is where families belong. This is the process that is ideally suited for effective conflict resolution.
Rather than trying to have a stencil template to fit all families, settlements through mediation are as individual and personalized as each unique family. No two solutions look identical because no two families are the same.
In the court system, someone from the outside who knows nothing about you, has to parachute themselves into your life and, to the best of their ability, decide on a solution for you and your family, which you must follow, whether you are happy with it or not.
Mediation is the exact opposite of this. Mediation is a supportive, informed process that leaves you in the driver’s seat, and builds on your shared life experience, rather than destroying it. You’re changing it, you’re transforming it, you’re not erasing it.