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Separation and divorce

Family mediation: the step-by-step process

You’ve decided to settle the consequences of your breakup through family mediation? Here’s a step-by-step look at what you need to know about the process of mediation.

1

Presentation of the mediation process and assessment of needs

The mediator usually begins the first session by presenting how the mediation process works. The mediator may also provide you with a list of documents that you will need to bring with you to the following sessions (e.g., pay stubs, income tax returns, marriage contract, cohabitation agreement, etc.).

You and your ex will then be given the opportunity to freely express your concerns and expectations. From these initial discussions, the mediator will be able to assess your needs and determine the questions likely to come up along with possible sources of conflict that will have to be resolved in subsequent meetings. If you have questions about the process, feel free to ask your mediator.

2

Finding solutions

During the sessions, you and the mediator will discuss the various topics that need to be addressed. The mediator will write down the decisions that you and your ex will make together.

The goal is to ensure that, by the end of the mediation process, you and your ex have reached an agreement that suits everyone and that is not against the law. Therefore, during the mediation process, if you feel the need to take some time to think about certain issues or if you want to consult a legal professional for some advice, let your mediator know.

3

Summary of Agreements

The mediator ends the mediation process by providing a short list, in writing, of all the points on which you and your ex have reached an agreement. This document is called a “Summary of Agreements.” Read it carefully to ensure that its content is accurate and reflects what was discussed.

The Summary of Agreements will serve as very useful reminder in the upcoming months of all the agreements reached during the mediation process.

However, this document isn’t a judgment. You therefore can’t force your ex to comply with your agreement by relying on this document alone.

Furthermore, if you’re married, please note that the Summary of Agreements doesn’t make your divorce official. To make your divorce official, you need to convert the Summary of Agreement into what is called a “Draft Agreement” and present it in court.

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Warning

The information presented on this page is not a legal opinion or legal advice. This page explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. To obtain a legal opinion or legal advice on your personal situation, consult a legal professional.