Category Archives: Screening for Power Imbalances and Family Violence

Some Suggested Steps for Safety Planning in Potentially High Risk Cases

The following excerpt from “Safety Planning in Family Law Cases: An Emerging Duty of Care for Lawyers?” is part 1 of a 3 part series which offers some helpful suggestions for safety planning and screening in high-risk cases.   Take all clients through extensive screening interviews before choosing a dispute resolution process and a professional to provide that process. Ensure …

Transforming Family Law: Legal Education and Transgender Parents

  FDRIO’s recent Unconference on May 4th introduced legal professionals to the perspective of LGBTQ+ parents in family law. Guest speakers touched on struggles faced by LGBTQ+ families in family law, including; fertility and what that means for coordinating parent access, child custody and parent decision making. With transgender parents, one or both parents might not be biologically connected to the …

Mediate 393 on “Voces Latinas” Radio in Toronto

On January 29, 2016, I went ‘live on-air’ on Voces Latinas, a Spanish radio talk show in Toronto to talk about Mediate393 and what it is like being a roster mediator. I began the show by providing information about Mediate393 and the services offered by our team of roster mediators. The mediators at Mediate393 are comprised of mental health professionals …

A Necessity For Training In Family Violence Screening

NOTE: Sina Hariri, who is a current intern with Riverdale Mediation Ltd., recently wrote and contributed this article to the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) website. ______________ As Family Lawyers, we are one of the critical cogs in a complicated and turbulent machine known as separation or divorce. Our clients come to us for help in navigating these turbulent waters (if …

Pecuniary Power Imbalances and Choosing a Mediator

Power imbalances are an important consideration during mediation, but they do not start when mediation begins. Rather power imbalances are pre-existing factors that are at work leading up to the process. In his paper Exploring the Concept of Power in Mediation: Mediators’ Sources of Power and Influence Tactics Shapira discusses coercive power, which is defined as “the ability to cause …

Self represented litigants: Mediation: Is there hope?

The National Self Represented Litigants Project just published an “Open Letter to the Canadian Judiciary”. It is a thoughtful and important read. The self-representing writers plead for greater understanding of their plight, and for more tolerance, compassion and assistance. This letter serves as a reminder that there are some under-utilized services to help those who cannot afford lawyers. Anyone in …

Husband murdered after failed mediation

In yet another case, a spouse has been murdered in the context of separation. This time, it is the husband who is dead.

Important case on “screening” in family mediation-arbitration

Although there are different options for screening, this case tells us why some may be better than others.