Ontario to Roll Out Province-wide Mediation Info Sessions

The Canadian province of Ontario is continuing on with its provincial mediation information sessions for divorcing spouses, since they seem to be getting good results. However, concerns have been raised over whether these sessions should always be mandato

By Josh D. Simon
Updated: March 18, 2015
divorce law and court case news

As initially reported by Divorce Magazine, the Ontario Government is forging ahead with its plan to expand mandatory mediation “Information Sessions” to divorcing couples across the province.

The project, which began last summer in Milton and Brampton , provides troubled couples with accurate information on the costs – both financially and emotionally – of litigation, and encourages them to consider alternative dispute resolutions. The program also refers couples to community support services and agencies that may be able to help them amicably resolve their differences instead of marching off to court.

At the same time, the sessions are designed to help ease the overwhelming administrative burden on Ontario ’s Family Courts – ideally by keeping divorcing couples away from them as much as possible.

“This is definitely a step in the right direction to reduce the amount of confrontation, to reduce the amount of litigation proceeding through the courts right now,” said Ontario Bar Association president Lee Akazaki in an interview with the Toronto Star. “If child custody, access and support obligation can be figured out outside of the court system, it will be less harmful to all involved.”  

Progressive Conservative MPP Ted Chudleigh (Halton) shares some of this praise, and even goes as far to tip his hat to the Ontario Liberals – but just a little.  

“This is not appropriate in all cases though,” Chudleigh said. “In cases of abuse, it may not be appropriate.”

Chudleigh also cautioned against believing that all mediators are created equally. “There are good mediators and bad ones,” he said. “Divorce doesn’t really belong in the courts, in all cases anyways.”

The mandatory mediation information sessions are expected to roll out to 17 additional Ontario Family Courts by April, 2011, and then the remaining 32 by the summer.

Divorce Magazine will continue to follow this story and report on updates as they become available.   

For more Divorce Law and Court Case news, visithttp://www.divorcemag.com/articles/Divorce-Law-and-Court-Cases

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December 16, 2010
Categories:  Legal Issues

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