People living in British Columbia have a range of divorce options that did not exist not so many years ago. Rather than going to court, many divorcing couples choose a form of alternative dispute resolution to sort out their marital dissolution in a less confrontational manner. Mediation is proving to be among the most popular choices. However, what guarantees do people have as to the quality of mediators available to them?
Fewer people are taking their legal disputes to court, with one source suggesting the figure may be as low as 7 percent. Despite the increasing popularity of mediation for resolving divorce and family law issues, however, mediation is essentially an unregulated profession. Some in the industry recognize the need for proper training and certification of mediators.
In BC, new family law regulations provide definitions for who is allowed to practice as a mediator. Although there is no formal disciplinary process, those who choose mediation can opt out of the process if it does not go well. The general belief here, and across Canada, is market forces will dictate who does and who does not practice mediation; mediators with a poor record of success will not attract clients.
Choosing mediation as an alternative to litigation is a good idea for many people. Choosing the right mediator is important, however, in order to achieve a successful outcome. Men and women who wish to mediate their divorce or other family law issue should look for a British Columbia law firm that practices mediation and employs certified mediators.
Source: lawtimesnews.com, "Focus: Mediators largely unregulated in Canada", Marg Bruineman, April 17, 2017