CONCLUDING MEDIATIONMEDIATION-8161298_s

In most cases, the parties and their lawyers will receive a Memorandum of Understanding at the end of each mediation session.  At the end of the last mediation session, it is prudent to review all terms of the mediated settlement so as to address any misunderstandings, as well as provide additional details and clarification where needed.

Memoranda of Understanding are not binding on the parties.  A Separation Agreement has to be drafted and properly executed by the parties to finalize the arrangement, and turn the mediated resolutions into a legally binding document.

When parties have their lawyers, they usually draft the agreement.  If parties do not have lawyers, a mediator who is also a lawyer can draft the agreement.  The parties are then encouraged to seek independent legal advice, and to execute the agreement in the presence of the lawyers providing it.

If the matters are already in court, and parties resolved their issues in mediation, parties or their lawyers must ensure that the case is withdrawn from court.  The terms of such a withdrawal are usually negotiated during mediation.

Suggested readings:

1.  The Everyday Guide to Family Law; Michael G. Cochrane, LL.B.

2.  The New Family Law; Lorne H. Wolfson, LL.B., LL.M.

3.  Tug of War: A Judge's Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court; Justice Harvey Brownstone.