Overview of Family Relations

As mental health and family law professionals we know that every family we work with is unique. We also know that families are incredibly complex and dynamic systems… How we understand and respond to a family’s uniqueness informs our mediations and other ADR processes at every stage – from intake to completion. Developing and expanding on our skills of analysis …
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12 Stages of Mediator Moves

Our 40 hour Basic Family Mediation course is rich with useful content designed to teach the fundamentals of family mediation, including this helpful flowchart, which is an excerpt from those training materials:

Farmer v. Farmer*: Nine Easy Steps to Being a Better Arbitrator

Make sure your equipment is working. An ‘honest’ admission about equipment failure leading to defective reasons is not the kind of honesty you want to be known for. Avoid stark characterizations of the nature of the evidence. Doing this makes it look like the arbitrator either did not understand the evidence or did not take the time to consider it. …
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Arbitration: Sufficiency of Reasons

Judges sometimes make reversible errors that are overturned on appeal; so too with arbitrators. It is not very often, however, that judges or arbitrators have their decisions overturned for lack of sufficiency in their reasons, especially in complicated cases, involving lots of money. It also does not often happen that an appellate judge feels the need to set out a …
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Views from a Mediator-In-Training: Workshop on Determining Income for Child and Spousal Support

This short workshop was an excellent introduction for mediators and a great refresher for family law lawyers regarding the different sources of income and how they may affect income calculation for support purposes. The presenter, family law lawyer and mediator, Angela Princewill, was knowledgeable, friendly and funny. She did an excellent job presenting this difficult and important topic, from both perspectives, …
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Best Practices for Addressing Power Imbalances and Safety in Family Dispute Resolution Processes: Research, Protocols and the Law

Introduction Originally published in Ontario Family Law Reporter (33 O.F.L.R), April 2020 With courts, for now, restricting services to all but emergency matters due to COVID-19, the demand for alternative dispute resolution services is growing exponentially. The need is greater than ever to ensure that those processes put issues of power imbalance and safety of clients and children first. Private …
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Guest Blog Post: “What Have I Seen You In?”

When you tell someone that you are an actor, their immediate question is: “What have I seen you in?”. There is my usual response to the various commercials, tv, and film roles I’ve done; but what they don’t know is the impact my job as an actor has had in real life with real people. People like the participants doing mediation training with Hilary at Riverdale Mediation. This always …
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A Good Case for Family Mediators: Justice Sherr in L.B. and P. E.

As family mediators, we work “in the shadow of the law”. Our job is to help parties reach agreements that are better for them than their alternatives… meaning mediators must know what a court would do with a given situation. We also must put the interests of children first, and decline to mediate parenting outcomes that we believe will not …
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