Forward-Thinking Family Law Lawyers Representing Clients in Mediation, Arbitration and Collaborative Law

In some instances, spouses may prefer to resolve family law matters, such as separation, divorce, or custody and access arrangements, through an alternative dispute resolution mechanism.  Such alternatives to the traditional court system can help resolve family law disputes in a cost-effective and low-conflict manner.

At Gelman & Associates, our exceptional team of lawyers has decades of collective experience representing clients at mediation and arbitration. Furthermore, one of our most senior lawyers, Paul D. Slan, offers mediation services for spouses who wish to avoid the family law court system. With over 40 years of experience mediating family law disputes, Paul is able to provide clients with expert insight into the Ontario family law system. In many cases, Paul’s family law expertise allows spouses to reach a settlement of their family-related issues in mediation, without resorting to the traditional court system. In addition, several of our family law lawyers are certified in Collaborative Law, a specific method of practice that emphasizes amicable settlements in family law cases.

What are Mediation, Arbitration and Collaborative Law?

There are many different forms of alternative dispute resolution in family law. All of these alternatives are intended to facilitate the settlement of family law matters outside the traditional court system, which is often associated with high costs, long periods of delay and an atmosphere of conflict. Three of the most common alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in Ontario family law are mediation, arbitration and collaborative law.


Mediation is a voluntary way of resolving disputes where a trained mediator helps parties to reach an agreement about family law matters such as spousal support, the division of property, custody of and access to the children, child support or any other family-related issues. Mediators are usually social workers, lawyers, psychologists, or other professionals. Mediators do not take sides or make decisions for the parties. They also cannot give legal advice.


Arbitration is a process where each spouse tells his or her side of a family law dispute to an arbitrator and asks for a specific decision. Each side may present witnesses and documents as evidence to support their facts, and make arguments to support the decision they want. Exactly what an arbitrator is being asked to decide should be set out in advance in an arbitration agreement. An arbitrator can be asked to resolve several issues, or specific topics such as division of property, support, and custody of or access to children. All arbitration decisions involving children must be decided in the child’s best interests.

Collaborative Law

At its essence, Collaborative Law consists of two clients and their respective lawyers working together towards reaching an efficient, fair, and comprehensive settlement of all family law matters. At the commencement of this process, parties must sign a participation contract, agreeing to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement. Each party must be represented by a lawyer whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding.

Contact Our Alternative Dispute Resolution Family Law Lawyers for assistance in facilitating an amicable Separation or Divorce

Contact Gelman & Associates to learn how our experienced alternative dispute resolution family law lawyers can help facilitate a cost-effective, low-conflict, resolution of your family law matter. To protect your mental health during a difficult period, we also offer our clients a free consultation with a psychological professional if required. Serving six offices throughout Aurora, Barrie, Downtown Toronto, Mississauga, North York and Scarborough, our offices are easily accessible by transit and off-highway. Our phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM. Call us at (416) 736-0200 or 1-844-736-0200 or contact us online for an initial consultation.

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