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Stay or leave: How mediation lends a hand to Ontario couples

Deciding to unite in marriage is not to be taken lightly, to paraphrase words invoked at the moment of commitment. The same may be said of the moment the decision to dissolve a marriage is made. Each in their own way signifies a dramatic life change for Ontario spouses, and the leave-taking transition may be the optimum time to seek mediation with the help of an experienced family law practitioner.

Recently, two noted universities teamed up to study the reasons that drive relationship satisfaction and those that promote the ending of relationships. Conducted in two phases, the focus groups were comprised of both unmarried and married couples who were contemplating breaking up or divorce. The results showed a marked difference in responses from married couples when it came to remaining together.

Unmarried couples were focused on compatibility and mutual enjoyment. For married couples, thoughts of divorce created ambivalence about family obligations, the level of investment, both financial and emotional, and uncertainty about the future. Researchers found this an interesting insight into how deeply entrenched couples who had partnered in formal marriage seemed to be.

Once the reluctance to end a marriage has been overcome, however, the most troubling issues may persist. Agonizing over very real concerns that affect children and extended family as well as the divorcing couple can make or break the divorce process. An Ontario family law practitioner experienced in mediation might ease a couple's way forward. His or her input and advice could provide a framework of reasonable accommodation to help traverse one of life's most challenging turning points.

Source:, "Why do couples split up? And why do they stay together?", Ana Sandoiu, Aug. 20, 2017

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