We often get questions from potential clients, curious about the services we offer. Over the years we’ve found that certain questions get asked more than others, so we put together a handy FAQ for prospective clients to peruse. If you don’t see the answer to your question below feel free to give us a call or email to book an appointment at our Whitby offices.
We have decided to separate. What is the first step?
Decide whether you shall each retain your own lawyer being mindful of the expenses involved in hiring lawyers and possibly winding up in court an indeterminate number of times. If this is not what you want, consider hiring an experienced skilled mediator—preferably a mediator who is also a lawyer.
We are not married but have children or co-own property. Is the mediation process done differently for us?
The mediation process is the same for both married couples and those individuals in a common-law relationship.
Do decisions made during mediation have the same legal weight as those made in family court?
Decisions made in mediation, if subsequently incorporated into a separation agreement, hold the same weight as court orders, if neither party has been under duress or coerced into signing an agreement.
Are the terms agreed to during mediation final? If not, when do they become final?
Decisions pertaining to children whether obtained through mediation or by court order are never final and always subject to review. Terms other than those pertaining to children are final once incorporated into separation agreements; however, even final court orders are subject to review pertaining to a material change in circumstance.
Do we still have to go to family court if we reach a conclusion during mediation?
If you reach an agreement during mediation there is no necessity to go to court.
Will Langley Mediation Services help us file the final divorce papers?
Langley Mediation Services can assist, if requested, to prepare and file divorce papers.
Can we proceed with the mediation in our home due to special circumstances?
Must we have social services involved in cases of custody?
Social Services are not involved in cases in which custody is involved unless there are allegations of harm to children, or where the best interests of the child are not preserved.
What if we change our mind and will stay together? Can we reverse decisions taken during mediation?
If parties reconcile, they need to start anew to mediate a further agreement.
My spouse hired a lawyer but I did not, can we still proceed with the mediation?
It is possible in a mediation for only one party to have a lawyer, but it is recommended that the person who does not have a lawyer consult a lawyer before reaching a final agreement.
Do I need to have a lawyer present for mediation?
It is not necessary to have a lawyer present for mediation.
Is there an experienced lawyer on staff with Langley Mediation?
Yes, there is a lawyer who also has a doctorate in applied psychology from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Additionally, there are resource people in the fields of counseling and therapy.
Is there someone at Langley Mediation Services qualified to deal with issues involving children with special needs?
Yes, there is an individual with a Master’s degree in Special Education.