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Mediator vs. Arbitrator: Which One Do You Need for Your Family Dispute?

Mediator Ottawa

So, you’re in a dispute with another party about some issue with family law in Ottawa. How do you resolve the dispute without going to court?


There are two options – mediation and arbitration. Let’s take a deeper look at which one is right for you.


What’s the Difference?

While they may seem similar initially, mediation and arbitration are two different processes that have applications in different scenarios.



Mediation involves a neutral third party who helps the two parties resolve their dispute collaboratively. Rather than choosing one side or the other, a mediator in Ottawa will help each side reach an agreement on their own. This makes mediation a non-binding process.


A mediator will be highly skilled at conflict resolution and legal knowledge, but they will not have the power to make the final decision on their own. That is left up to the two parties in dispute.



Arbitration is similar to mediation in that it is the process of settling a dispute with the help of a third party. However, an arbitrator is given the authority to make a final decision on the issue. The decision can be binding or non-binding depending on the stipulations of the arbitration contract.


An arbitration process is more structured and can feel similar to a court case. Each side makes their statement and presents their case to the arbitrator, though not quite as formally as they would in a court case. Once each party has presented their side, the arbitrator will consider both sides and come to a conclusion.


How to Choose Between Mediation and Arbitration?

How do you decide which process is right for you? The answer will depend on the circumstances and the relationship you have with the opposite party.


Mediation is a much better choice if both parties believe they can work together to come to an agreement on their own. In cases where that doesn’t seem possible, you may want to elect for arbitration instead.


If you’re unsure about which option is best for you, you should consider talking to a lawyer. They will be able to provide advice on your unique circumstances to help you choose.


Selecting an Effective Mediator in Ottawa for Family Dispute

Choosing an effective mediator to help resolve your dispute doesn’t have to be a difficult task.


To find an effective mediator for your issue, you should consider a few key points:

·       They should have experience with family law issues.

·       They should have training related to your specific issues.

·       They should have professional experience (law, social work, education, etc.)

·       They should not have a personal or business relationship with anyone in the dispute.


Mediators in Ontario and Ottawa must meet minimum qualifications in order to provide dispute resolution services. These qualifications include:

·       60 hours of family mediation training

·       21 hours of intimate partner violence education or training, including screening for intimate partner violence


Trust Julie I. Guindon as Your Mediator in Ottawa

Get in touch with Julie I. Guindon for mediation and arbitration services in Mediator Ottawa today. We have more than 25 years of experience in providing dispute resolution services, helping parties find solutions that work for all sides.

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