A Toronto Family Lawyer May be Exactly What You Need
Mediation can be defined as a voluntary process where a “neutral” third party (i.e., a mediator) assists people in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution. A mediator does not have the authority to make a binding decision on the issues in dispute during a mediation.
Many people incorrectly think they (and/or their spouse) do not need to hire a lawyer if they choose to do mediation. A “mediator” does not represent both parties and provide all the services necessary for them to enter a full and final legally binding agreement (i.e., drafting of a separation agreement, providing independent legal advice to each party on their respective rights and obligations and discussing the consequences of signing the agreement).
If people are considering mediation, it would benefit them to obtain some legal advice (from separate lawyers) about their legal rights and obligations when they separate before engaging in the mediation process. It is recommended that financial issues not be mediated until all the necessary documents and information is exchanged by the parties and mediator so that everyone is informed before numbers are discussed.
Once a settlement in principle has been reached in the mediation process, parties should engage lawyers to give them advise on the legal consequences of the settlement, assist them in refining any aspects that may require it and drafting up the final agreement. There is no binding “deal” after mediation until both parties have signed a separation agreement.
The above information is not legal advice of any kind, and you should be sure to speak to a qualified family law lawyer about your specific situation. For more information, call us at 905-273-4588 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free 30-minute consultation with one of our experienced Toronto family law lawyers.