Professor Nicholas Bala stressed the importance of helping and educating parents to restructure their relationship and move from being spouses/partners to being co-parents. Family mediation can often play an important role in that education and change process. Family law cases are not only about the law but more so about issues of emotions, social reality and psychosocial relationships. Helping people address and understand those issues is a critical part of the process and mediation is more likely to do that than a litigation process.
People are to be helped to restructure the relationship and to recognize that it is a permanent relationship – they are not going to be free of each other. The reality is that people think once you are divorced it is over. That is not the case because if you have children, the relationship with the other parent will never end; you have to learn how to restructure and deal with it in that context.
The symposium on Family Mediation in Canada: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, organized by Children Now began on June 26, 2014 with a lecture by Nicholas Bala, LL.M., Professor of Law, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada who provided a brief history of family mediation in Canada.