According to a Canadian Forum on Civil Justice survey of family lawyers, they overwhelmingly favored using mediation to settle disputes, as compared to litigation, collaboration and arbitration. The survey — which was carried out by the Canadian Research Institute for the Law and the Family — was based on the opinions of 160 family lawyers in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia on their use of litigation, mediation, collaboration and arbitration in their family law practice. More than 89 per cent of respondents in the survey said they used mediation to resolve disputes related to such things as custody and division of property and assets.
Couples are often more satisfied with the results of mediation than they are from the results of litigation, says the Canadian Research Institute for the Law and the Family report. “[In a court action], the accusations are in black and white for everybody to read. They’re staring you in the face. So, all of that acrimony is there on the surface. Whereas if you can get people in a room and they’re mediating, you can keep the tone down so that people can negotiate a resolution. They control the process, and that’s hugely beneficial.”