I have practiced exclusively in the area of family law for over fifteen years. During my early years practicing family law in the traditional way, I developed a strong interest in both Collaborative Practice and Family Mediation, recognizing them as better process options for most families.
I have seen the toll that the traditional court system takes on families. I have also seen the positive impact that interest-based processes like CP and mediation have on my clients, empowering them to make their own choices and take control of their future. I now run my own firm specializing in these growing areas of family dispute resolution.
My focus is on helping clients create their own out-of-court settlements through negotiation advocacy, collaborative practice and comprehensive family mediation. We work together to tackle difficult legal issues, financial issues and help parents improve communication and co-parenting skills so they can successfully implement their parenting plans and separation agreements.
I am committed to increasing awareness of and access to family dispute resolution options. While collaborative practice and mediation are often referred to as alternative dispute resolution (ADR), I believe they should be the first process options explored by families, rather than being viewed as "alternatives". I believe that the court process, adversarial by its very nature, should be used only as a last resort, reserved for those rare circumstances where it is truly needed. Most cases can be successfully resolved out of court, and without further escalation of the conflict and damage to relationships.
I completed law school at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, and was called to the Bar in 2007. Before starting my firm, I practiced as an associate lawyer at Epstein Cole LLP, one of the leading boutique family law firms in Canada, where I gained extensive experience in family law.
I completed my collaborative family law training in 2010 and became an Accredited Family Mediator with the Ontario Association for Family Mediators in 2014. I was a roster mediator with the government subsidized, court-connected mediation program for families in the GTA, including parties involved in cases in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
I am always striving to find efficient and innovative ways to help families move forward, including participating in interdisciplinary family law initiatives like the Collaborative Practice Pro Bono Family Law Project and the Ryerson Legal Innovation Zone's Family Assist Portal. I also enjoy speaking at various mediation and family law courses and programs.
I am a member of Collaborative Divorce Toronto (CDT), the Ontario Association for Family Mediators (OAFM), the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO), the Law Society of Ontario, and the ADR Section of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA). Over the years, I have also volunteered as a board member for CDT, FDRIO, and the OBA ADR Section.
If you are interested in an overview of family dispute resolution process options and some of the evolving issues and challenges in FDR in Ontario, read my article presented at the Law Society of Upper Canada's Family Law Practice Basics Program in 2016 Rethinking the "A" in ADR: Normalizing Family Dispute Resolution Alternatives.
Copyright 2015 Daniella Wald Family Law Resolutions