Susan Cook Mediation and Family Counselling Services York Region, Simcoe County and Canada Wide


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From both a professional and personal viewpoint, I believe that a combination of Mediation/Arbitration can be the most efficient and effective means of settling issues in a separation and/or divorce in the least amount of time for the least amount of money.


Beginning the process by mediating all of the issues that you are able to agree upon gives you the opportunity to make the choices that you both feel are in the best interest of your 'family' going forward, in cases where children are involved, for many years to come.


When you enter into a MED-ARB agreement, as opposed to a simple mediation agreement, any issues that you are not able to mediate can then immediately be transferred on to arbitration.  Without the arbitration component to your mediation agreement, you could possibly spend many hours and several hundreds of dollars just to end up litigating a single issue that you got stuck on in mediation.


Arbitration is a legally binding process that provides the disputing parties an opportunity to present their 'case' much as they would in a family court, only better.  The arbitration process is much less formal, and offers more opportunity to put forward all of the information that you believe to be relevant, whereby in the court system you are much more restricted to the laws of evidence.  That being said, arbitration also follows the same laws, but in a much more user friendly manner.


The ultimate benefit to using the arbitration process as opposed to the court system to settle issues that can't be resolved through mediation is the time and cost effectiveness.


The court process can entail several visits to court with your lawyer before there is any resolution.  When you consider that each time you attend court you do not have a specified meeting time and can be there with your lawyer for several hours waiting to see the judge.  Your legal bills can become astronomical.


To have your case heard in front of an arbitrator there is no down time for which you are paying your lawyer to wait around.  There is direct access to the decision making process without several various types of case conferences before a trial date.  Lawyer interaction is minimal and therefore eliminates the need for costly numerous communications that inevitably drive up the legal bills for both sides.


An arbitration award is just as legally binding as a court order, yet can be appealed, just as a court order can. 


To see a Med-Arb agreement please go the Forms and Contracts page on this site.


The following link will provide you with guidance from the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Office which is strongly promoting arbitration as the best manner of resolving family dispute matters.


All services are provided remotely via Google Meet