What is Alternative Dispute Resolution in Ontario – Arbitration vs. Mediation vs. Legal Coaching?


If you have already separated from your spouse and have started consulting divorce lawyers, you have likely realized that you are about to embark on a long and expensive process.

Sometimes couples do not separate under the best terms and when emotions get involved it can lead to rash and expensive decisions. If you are in this situation, take a step back and consider the impact of your decisions on your health, children and wallet.

In Ontario two most publicized forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution have been Mediation and Arbitration.

Mediation is a voluntary private process where couples retain the services of an impartial third party “mediator” to help them reach a settlement. A mediated settlement is binding and is usually reflected in a Separation Agreement.

Arbitration also involves an impartial third party however he or she is retained to conduct a Hearing and make a binding decision which is then reflected in a Written Decision.

In recent years the concept of collaborative law has emerged to encourage individuals to resolve issues without going to court. There are many ways that you can work through the divorce process with your spouse to avoid unnecessary stress. The cleanest, easiest and often most cost-effective way to deal with your divorce is to look for ways that you can agree on the issues with your spouse, starting with areas that you already agree on.

If you can’t agree, before going to Court, your best course of action to save some money may be to consider another option; lawyer assisted coaching. This is where a divorce lawyer coaches you through the process while you self-represent. This could be the difference between you spending every dime you have on legal fees or you ending up with most of your assets intact.

Hiring a legal coach will enable you to establish a relationship of trust with someone who could step in and defend you if needed. Once you reach an agreement with your former spouse, you can create your divorce forms online and then your legal coach can assist you with getting them finalized.

No matter which approach you choose it pays to put your emotions on the shelf and start thinking about how you can make the smartest choices, for more information visit www.bermanbarristers.com or www.myontariodivorce.com.

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