What is the role (and differences) of a certified mediator and certified arbitrator in a family matter?

Arbitration and Mediation are two alternatives for dispute resolution and are used in place of the litigation process.

Family Law Mediators

  • A mediator does not deliver a judgment.
  • A mediator is usually one who resolves disputes between people, organizations, states or any other communities.
  • A mediator facilitates dialogue between the parties and it is up to them to come to an agreement. An agreement reached after mediation is not binding.

The Law Society of British Columbia says in order to be a family law mediator you must have:

“Sufficient knowledge, skills and experience relevant to family law to carry out the mediatory function in a fair and competent matter; 80 hours of approved mediation skills training, which must include, theory and skills training 14 hours of approved training in family violence, which must include skills for identifying, evaluating and managing family violence and issues of power dynamics in particular relation to the dispute resolution process.”

Family Law Arbitrators

  • An arbitrator’s judgment is considered final and binding.
  • An arbitrator is a neutral person chosen to resolve disputes outside the courts.
  • Arbitration is the private, judicial determination of a dispute, by an independent third party.
  • The disputing parties hand over their power to decide the dispute to the arbitrator.

The Law Society of British Columbia says in order to be a family law arbitrator you must have:

“A total of at least 10 years, engaged in the full-time practice of law or the equivalent in part-time practice or as a judge or master; Sufficient knowledge, skills and experience relevant to family law to carry out the arbitral function in a fair and competent matter; 40 hours of training in how to conduct an arbitration, which must include, theory and skills training, drafting, how to conduct an arbitration, the statutory framework of arbitration, family dynamics and administrative law principles governing arbitrations; 14 hours of approved training in family violence, which must include, skills for identifying, evaluating and managing family violence and issues of power dynamics in particular relation to the dispute resolution process.”

If you’re considering divorce, our family lawyers can provide the advice and counsel necessary to achieve your goals. Call us or contact us online today.