Back to articles Family Mediation...The Cost-Effective, Smarter Way

Categories: Parenting

Although Family Mediation is thought to be a new service it has been around for many years. As the Family courts become more and more unable to service the sheer volume of family cases; both during and post separation, mediation is coming to the forefront as a less costly, less stressful and more timely solution for people looking to resolve family disputes.

According to Chris Bentley, Attorney General “Our current family process is costly, takes too long and is too combative. We have listened to those involved in the family law system very closely. Today we are moving forward with the changes needed to make family matters easier to resolve and more affordable for Ontario families.”

Family mediation is gaining momentum across the province as these proposed changes to Ontario’s family law legislation have been announced and come into effect March 1, 2010.

A Family Mediator’s role is to help families transition through some aspect of their lives. It may be separation/divorce, parenting teenage children or family disputes about elder care. 

Mediation provides a fair, safe and balanced process to help you transition through family disputes. Your mediator will facilitate the discussions between family members and provide a safe environment for them to actively participate in making decisions and focus on goals for the future- not blame for the past.


Primarily, I have focused on separation or divorce issues related to couples with children.  I recognize how time consuming and emotionally draining custody and access issues are for parents.  I truly believe that once the parenting responsibilities are arranged, the parents can then successfully move on with the other aspects of their separation.  

Although your relationship with your partner may be in transition, it is imperative that your parenting responsibilities continue to be at the forefront during this difficult time.  Creating a plan at this stage will help you identify and focus on the best interests of your children and assist all family members to move forward in a positive manner.

A large number of families end up in court during separation because they don’t know where else to turn.  Family mediation is a quicker, more cost-effective way of creating individual solutions for positive change.  During your relationship, you made decisions together about how you were going to live your lives, raise your children and manage your money. As you are now ending that relationship, this does not mean that you should give these decisions to the court for someone else to determine what should happen to your family.  Mediation keeps the control within your family and allows you to personally develop solutions that best meet YOUR family’s unique situations and requirements.


In terms of Parent-Teen Mediation, Family Mediation gives both the parent and teen a balanced platform to communicate openly and honestly.  All parties feel that they have a voice and in turn are heard. This process can provide workable solutions that decrease the strain at home.


Mediated agreements related to family issues have a very high degree of compliance because they are specific to the family’s needs and the family actively participates in making decisions and creating agreeable solutions.


Many of us have friends, family members and/or clients that could benefit from mediation. Please help give these individuals a more cost-effective, efficient, timely and less stressful resolution…Family Mediation.


Julie Gill is a Family Mediator with Families First Mediation. For more information please visit her website at or contact her at 905.427.0100 or