Is it a waste of time and money to try mediation if we do not settle?

Some separating couples are worried that mediation will just be a waste of time, money and energy.

This is an understandable concern. It is why we meet each party first, in confidence, to assess whether the matter is suitable for mediation. There may be reasons why mediation is premature, like the emotions are too fresh, disclosure is not complete, or parties need more supports before negotiating.

We assess for all of this, and if we recommend that mediation proceed we will adapt our process to address any concerns identified.

In most cases, when we proceed, it is because there is something that can be settled.

The amazing thing we find about mediation is that it almost always moves things forward, even if there is no settlement. I cannot count the number of times a party or lawyer has told me, weeks or months after the mediation, that they were able to settle soon afterwards, because of how helpful the mediation was.

So do not let this worry stand in your way if you are considering family mediation!

About Hilary Linton

Hilary Linton is a Toronto family lawyer, mediator, arbitrator, parenting coordinator and trainer. After litigating civil and family matters for 14 years, she started Riverdale Mediation Ltd. which has become internationally recognized as a leader in family dispute resolution training. The Riverdale training team designs and delivers professional, affordable, relevant and inspiring workshops for family dispute resolution professionals. The services team offers family mediation, parenting coordination and mediation-arbitration services, using Zoom and, where appropriate, in-person at our Toronto offices. Hilary’s excellence has been recognized with Awards from the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (2020), the Ontario Bar Association (2014) and with speaking and training engagements across Canada, the US, the Caribbean, Portugal, South Africa and Scandanavia.