top of page

Family Mediation – Agreement to Mediate


1. We, _________________________and ____________________have decided to attempt to settle the issues between us through the process of family mediation with the assistance of Suzanne Winlove-Smith.

2. This Agreement to Mediate sets out the terms and conditions under which the mediation will proceed, and is effective on the date that it is signed.

3. This Agreement to Mediate shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Province of Ontario and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein.

4. We understand that the primary goal of mediation is to help separated or divorced parties (or third parties where applicable), arrive at a suitable agreement taking into account the interests of other members of our family. We understand that on-site family mediation is further intended to provide the opportunity for efficient resolution of issues referred by judges and lawyers or requested by parties on a daily court list appearing for a court attendance.


5. We understand the process of family mediation is voluntary.

6. We understand that the Mediator is not a judge, arbitrator, or assessor and does not represent or act on behalf of the Parties. We understand that the Mediator is an impartial facilitator whose role is to help us communicate and negotiate in an attempt to voluntarily resolve our issues on consent.


7. We understand that the responsibility for resolving our issues rests with us, not the Mediator.


We agree to work with the Mediator to try to resolve the following issues:


1. We understand that the Mediator will not offer legal advice to either of us, and that the Mediator has no duty to assert or protect our legal rights.

2. We understand that it is in our best interest to seek independent legal advice before, throughout, and after the mediation process.

3. We acknowledge that we have been advised to seek independent legal advice, if we have not already done so. We understand that this legal advice will help us to better appreciate our respective rights and obligations in resolving our issues, and to better understand whether any agreement we make is reasonable and fair.

4. When issues are resolved, the Mediator will prepare a written report for us. We acknowledge that the Mediator’s report is not a final or legally binding agreement.

5. We understand that if we wish to make the Mediator’s report into a legally binding agreement, it is in each of our best interest to seek an independent lawyer’s advice and assistance for that purpose.


1. We feel we can negotiate with each other and freely discuss our issues in an equal, open, honest, and constructive manner. However, if either of us feels intimidated in any way during the mediation process, we will immediately advise the Mediator and may do so privately.

2. We acknowledge that, generally, the Mediator will meet with the Parties in joint sessions. However, occasionally the Mediator may wish to meet with one Party individually.

3. We are aware that the Mediator may also wish to meet with the child(ren), or any other signifi cant third parties such as a new partner, grandparents, other relatives, lawyers, and legal representatives. However, the Mediator must obtain our consent before involving another person in the mediation process.



1. The Mediator and the Parties shall keep confidential all written and verbal information prepared, provided, disclosed, or exchanged during or for the purpose of the mediation.


2. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, the Mediator may, at their sole discretion, disclose in formation about the mediation:

(a) To communicate with the Parties, their lawyers or other legal representatives, and third parties retained by a Party, their lawyer, or other legal representative;
(b) Where ordered to do so by law;
(c) Where required to do so by law, including but not limited to obligations to report a child in need of protection; or
(d) Where the information indicates an actual or potential threat to human life or safety.


3.We acknowledge that our discussions in mediation are only for the purpose of reaching an agreement regarding the issues between us. We agree not to summons or compel:

(a) The Mediator, Mediation Service Provider, intern, or observer to testify or otherwise participate in any legal proceeding, including but not limited to any court or arbitration hearing; or

(b) The disclosure of any mediation documents. However, documents that are otherwise discoverable or admissible as evidence in a legal proceeding do not become inadmissible or non-discoverable merely because of their use during the mediation process.



We understand that the Mediator will not voluntarily disclose to anyone who is not a party of the mediation, any verbal or written communication that has taken place during the mediation process. The only exceptions include disclosure of information:

(a) To the Parties’ lawyers or legal representatives;
(b) Where ordered to do so by law;
(c) Where required to do so by law (including, but not limited to, information about a potential child protection issue);
(d) Where information suggests an actual or potential threat to human life or safety;

(e) For research, education, or program reporting or evaluation purposes (non-identifying information);

(f) On the written consent of all Parties; or
(g) Where any Party makes a claim against the Mediator, Mediation Service Provider, or intern or observer.


1. We agree to make full and accurate disclosure of all written and verbal information that is relevant to the issues being mediated, including but not limited to the disclosure of financial information. We further agree to duly update our disclosed information if it materially changes during the mediation process.

2. We understand and agree that if the Mediator has reason to believe that full and accurate disclosure has not occurred, they may terminate the mediation process.


1. We understand that each Party has the right to withdraw from the mediation process at any time with prior notice to the Mediator and every other Party or their lawyer.

2. We understand that the Mediator has the right to terminate the mediation process at any time and for any reason with prior notice to all Parties or their lawyers.


1. We agree that neither one of us nor our lawyers will initiate any legal proceeding, or take any further steps in an existing legal proceeding, during the mediation process. The only exceptions to this are as follows:

(a) All Parties consent in writing prior to any action being taken; or
(b) There are urgent circumstances warranting an order without notice.


2. We agree that neither one of us nor our lawyers will, without the other Party’s prior written consent, take any of the following actions during the mediation process:

(a) Attempt to dispose of (including but not limited to destroy, sell, or transfer) or mortgage any property or asset or interest in a property or asset;
(b) Incur any significant debt; or
(c) Change beneficiaries of life insurance plans, death benefits, or health insurance plans.

We acknowledge that we have each read this Agreement to Mediate. We agree to proceed with on- site family mediation in accordance with the terms and conditions set out herein.

This Agreement to Mediate is made in Ottawa, Ontario.

bottom of page