Family Mediation-Arbitration

Mediation-Arbitration is a blended process to assist in resolving family issues, which combines mediation with the possibility of a final, binding decision (arbitration), where needed. Mediation-Arbitration is recognized by Ontario Courts as a useful process choice for families.

First, a mediation is held and every effort is made to resolve the issues in the dispute on a voluntary basis. In the vast majority of cases, issues are resolved at this stage, an agreement is reached, and an arbitration is not required. If the issues are resolved, final Minutes of Settlement or a Separation Agreement will be prepared for the review of you and your lawyer.

For more detailed information about the mediation phase please click here. However, if one, some, or all issues remain unresolved at the conclusion of the mediation stage, the mediator becomes the decision-maker (the “arbitrator”) who will render a decision on the case, based on evidence and the applicable law. Orders made by the arbitrator are enforceable under Ontario law.

Mediation-Arbitration offers the knowledge that there will be a final decision, on a timely basis. This is a relief for many participants who wish to stay out of Court but who would like the option of a binding, enforceable decision if the mediation does not resolve everything.

Bluewater Mediation requires that any clients wishing to enter into a Mediation-Arbitration Agreement be represented by lawyers when selecting the process, and when entering into the Mediation Agreement. This is consistent with Ontario law.

Bluewater Mediation also requires, in accordance with Ontario law, that all prospective mediation-arbitration clients be screened to ensure that the mediation-arbitration process is appropriate in all of the circumstances. This is part of the intake meetings described in the family mediation part of this website.

In the arbitration process, the arbitrator works with both clients’ lawyers, or with clients directly, to design a process which is appropriate to the issue in dispute. That process could closely resemble the Court process, or on consent of all parties, could be more streamlined if that is appropriate to the issues. In many cases, mediation-arbitration is less time consuming and less expensive than Court.

Bluewater Mediation’s principal mediator, Lene Madsen, is a Certified Family Arbitrator through ADRIO, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario.

Documents for Family Mediation-Arbitration:

Bluewater Mediation Arbitration Agreement

Bluewater Mediation Client Information Form

Bluewater Financial Statement

Bluewater Net Family Property Statement

Other Information of Interest about Family Arbitration:

Ontario Government on-line information about Family Arbitration