Category Archives: Uncategorised

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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Enforcement of Agreements and Orders in a Closed PC Process

Walk softly and carry a big stick is a variation on a phrase popularized by US President Theodore Roosevelt in a 1903 speech when he said to the crowd “speak softly and carry a big stick”. In other words, attempt peaceful negotiations while also being prepared for confrontation by displaying one’s power, especially elements of force.  When I think of the …
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CBC Promotes Family Mediation!

Listening to the CBC’s recent program on family law (Ontario Morning, March 12), it became clear to me that separating parents do not always understand their dispute resolution options. Recent changes to the federal and provincial laws require all separating couples to consider trying out-of-court settlement, and many are doing just that. But it can be wildly confusing trying to …
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How to Help Your Clients Prepare for a Negotiation – Part 2 of 4

The mediator’s first job is to assess whether the proposed negotiation is suitable for all, is feasible, and can proceed in accordance with the guiding principle of “do no harm”. In this 4-part blog series, we will explore some questions mediators can review with clients before starting a mediation: PART 2 – IDENTIFY THE TERMS OF THE NEGOTIATION PROCESS Define …
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How Can Mediator-Arbitrators and Parenting Coordinators Maintain Their Neutrality?

It can be challenging for FDR professionals to maintain the perception of neutrality in when working in dual functions as mediator-arbitrators and parenting coordinators.  There is an inherent tension in the various roles encompassed in the process. Mediators often engage in tactics that might be seen to show their assessment of the situation.   Even where parties have consented to …
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Do No Harm: Should I Move Fast or Slow?

Whether you have left an unhappy situation, or are heartbroken about being left by someone you love or need—anxiety around the prospect staying connected to your separated spouse is visceral. For children, the frustration and despair is multiplied.  Children have no control over the decisions of their parents, the spread of the coronavirus, nor the conditions in which they find …
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