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The Top Five Things You Should Know About Family Arbitration

  1. There are special rules around family arbitration which do not apply to regular arbitrations:
    1. the arbitration agreement has to be in writing and signed with independent legal advice;
    2. the arbitrator must also sign the agreement and certify that both parties to the arbitration agreement have been screened for domestic violence and power imbalance;
    3. only the law of Ontario or the law of Canada can apply to the arbitration;
    4. there is always a right to appeal the arbitration decision on a question of law.

  2. The parties get to choose the arbitrator and will select a person with special expertise in the area of the dispute.

  3. The parties get the decide the procedure which will be used in the arbitration thereby creating the opportunity for significant cost savings over court proceedings.

  4. The parties have control as to when the arbitration will be heard because they get to select the date which is mutually convenient. Therefore, an arbitration can be heard long before the matter could ever wend its way through court. In fact, an arbitration can be heard within weeks after the dispute arises.

  5. Any type of family law dispute can be referred to the arbitrator but only a Judge can grant a divorce. An arbitration decision is legally binding, can be appealed and can be enforced through the courts if necessary.


-Tom Dart, Mediator and Arbitrator

We work hard to redefine the dispute resolution process and transform the way people perceive and approach conflicts

Let us know how we can help.

If you would like to consider either mediation, mediation/arbitration or arbitration alone for yourself or your clients please contact Hannah Lankin, our Mediation Arbitration Co-Ordinator at or by telephone at 705-739-4090. Hannah can make an appointment for you with one of our specially trained Mediators / Arbitrators who will answer any questions you might have about any of the above.