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Ontario, Canada Promoting Mediation Divorce

Wednesday, July, 20, 2011

More couples will use mediation divorce in Canada thanks to a new regulation by the Ontario provincial government requiring that those seeking a divorce must attend an information session about this alternative to ending a marriage through the courts.  The requirement applies across the entire province and is intended to help streamline cases so that they do not burden the family court system.

The requirement takes effect this week and mandates that divorcing couples must spend two hours working with volunteer social workers and lawyers.  The sessions are aimed at helping couples understand the financial impact of court-based divorce, which can be devastating.  Sessions will also include information about the effect of antagonistic divorce proceedings on children.  

Mediation Divorce Regarded as Preferable

In both of these respects, mediation divorce has a better track record than court-based divorces.  Ontario Attorney General summed it up when he spoke with the National Post newspaper: "We're trying to take some of the emotional and financial cost out of separation and divorce.  People don't choose to end up in this situation, and we want to help them resolve their issues so they can get on with the rest of their lives as quickly as possible."

17 courts in Ontario were already promoting mediated solutions.  The new legislation will expand such solutions to more than 50 court systems across the province.  Divorce mediation is not yet mandated in all Canadian provinces.