NEW! AXIS Family Mediation Inc. is proud to now offer Distance Mediation to parties where at least one participant resides in one of the court regions we serve (Hamilton, Kitchener/Cambridge, Guelph, Brantford, Simcoe, Cayuga, St. Catharines or Welland).

Distance Mediation refers to the process by which the parties and mediator conduct their mediation sessions using a technology conferencing platform. This is an efficient, safe and productive option for the resolution of your family law issues when it may not be possible or feasible to meet in person whether due to social distancing requirements, one party lives outside of the above-named jurisdictions, there is an accessibility-related need, or due to a domestically precarious situation.

Confidentiality is of the utmost importance in the mediation process regardless of its form; whether it is with respect to the parties’ personal information, documents or what is said in the mediation sessions. In that regard, we have ensured that our distance mediation process not only meets, but exceeds your safety and security needs.

Unlike in-person offsite mediation, where parties have a choice between “open” and “closed” mediation, all AXIS Distance Mediations are “closed”, which means that whatever is said and whatever offers are made in the mediation sessions cannot later be used against any party in court or arbitration proceedings if negotiations fail, nor can a mediator be summonsed to court to talk about the process or what happened. The only information revealed is what is agreed upon by all parties.

All family law issues can be negotiated in distance mediation—parenting plans, child support, spousal support and property issues. This is known as “comprehensive” mediation.

Just like in-person off-site mediation, distance mediation is voluntary. Mutual consent must be given by each party in order to participate, and that consent can be withdrawn at any time.

Similar to traditional mediation, each party will have an opportunity to “meet” on-line with the mediator separately first for an intake session to discuss the issues for mediation and ask any questions or canvass any concerns. Extensive screening will occur to ensure that all parties feel safe, are of equal bargaining power, have a safety plan in place in situations of past or present domestic violence, and have and are able to use all of the required technology. Then, and again just like traditional face-to-face mediation, as series of meetings will be held wherein the mediator assists the parties to resolve their family law issues. These “joint” sessions may occur simultaneously, or in separate caucus sessions. At the conclusion of mediation, a customary mediation report is prepared and provided by the mediator.

Requirements to use AXIS Distance Mediation include: access to a computer (which has audio and video capabilities), a smartphone, or a tablet; Internet access; and online banking capabilities for the payment of user fees via e-transfer. The fees for Distance Mediation are the same as for in-person off-site mediation, which are based on the sliding scale, based on income and dependants as prescribed the Ministry of the Attorney General. To see the user fee schedule, click here.

Have more questions or ready to make a referral? Contact us here for more information.

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