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Avoiding unwelcome surprises through Ontario mediation

It may sound peculiar, but -- for some -- the idea of marriage is akin to buying a bundle of preconceptions and expecting lifelong personal fulfillment. For centuries, our culture has been imbued with exalted ideals about married life that work against the realities of a shared life, with all its accompanying hopes, dreams and goals. However, those same standards of success can be applied to the mediation process, particularly when assisted by an Ontario family law practitioner.

A recent study concluded that marrying with high expectations can sometimes provoke marital dissatisfaction. Results from the same study, however, indicated that low expectations could be equally pernicious. What was most revealing was that open communication, rather than reticence, could, in fact, strengthen a relationship. In effect, communication proved to be central to any relationship whether in moving forward together or in choosing to dissolve a formal marriage.

Relying on their own strong communication skills, a divorcing couple may well decide to work out their issues without the benefit of a certified mediator. If so, they may risk finding unwelcome surprises down the road. While it's true that an agreement reached through mediation virtually eliminates time spent in court, all relevant documents still need to be filed legally. The court is as exigent about essential paperwork issuing from mediation as that from traditional divorce proceedings.

Appropriate testamentary papers must be presented to the court by a lawyer and in accordance with family law requirements. Covering all the bases is one of the advantages of working with a skilled mediator well-versed in family law. A mediator might also recommend when and where a third-party professional might be useful, such as for appraisal or accounting purposes. Moreover, each party is free, indeed encouraged, to consult his or her own lawyer during the mediation process. Ontario law welcomes mediation as an alternative to the traditional divorce pathway, and a family law practice offering mediation as a resource might be well worth considering.

Source: findlaw.com, "Divorce Mediation FAQ", Accessed on Oct. 23, 2017

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