Mediation is an option in family law cases which is all too often ignored. Matrimonial disputes are fundamentally different from typical civil law suits, and therefore do not fit well into our adversarial court system. Custody and access are often significant issues when a marriage breaks down. There is enormous emotional stress on a family, most notably children, when issues of custody, access and other child related issues must go to court. These and other issues which arise during a separation and divorce are best resolved by both parties coming to an agreement rather than having a judge making a unilateral decision after a long and costly court battle.
Mediation is a process where common ground is sought and issues are resolved taking the concerns of both parties into account. An agreement is reached that is at the very least acceptable to both parties. With the vast majority of cases, this can be accomplished with a knowledgeable and skilled mediator. Michael Reilly, the senior and managing partner at Reilly & Partners Professional Corporation, is a trained family law mediator. He has practised as a family law lawyer since 1992 and has more than 10 years of family mediation experience. In fact, he has facilitated the resolution of every case in which he has acted as mediator.
You and your spouse do not require a lawyer to begin the mediation process, although you may wish to be represented at some point during the process.