About Barbara Cohen
Barbara Cohen, B.A., Juris Doctor
In 1984 I graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Distinction. Since my call to the Bar in 1991, I have practiced exclusively in the area of Family Law.
While my practice was initially litigation oriented, in 2001 I began focusing my attention on alternative dispute resolution approaches to Family Law. After completing my Certification as a Third Party Neutral from the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution in 2001 and subsequent training in Family Mediation, I began my Family Mediation Practice in 2004. I have been an Accredited Family Law Mediator since 2007.
In 2003 I received my training in Collaborative Family Law and continue to practice as a panelist for the Ottawa Collaborative Law Network.
- President – Ontario Association of Family Mediators (OAFM) - Ottawa Chapter
- Vice President/Treasurer/Membership - Ontario Association of Family Mediators - (OAFM) - Ottawa Chapter
- Board Member - Collaborative Practice Ottawa
- Access to Family Justice - Panel Committee Member
- Ontario Superior Court of Justice - Presenter of "Experiencing Separation" course
- CHIN Radio - chaired production of 12 part radio series on Family Law Dispute Resolution
- CHIN Radio - Numerous guest appearances on CHIN Radio as Family Law/ADR expert
- Participated in provincial panel of family law experts on Family Law Justice Reform Project
- Carleton University – guest lecturer for Women and the Law course
My first priority will be to help you choose the right process to fit your unique situation – a process that meets your emotional and financial interests and those of your children. Process options may change prior to resolving all issues and may depend on the amount of conflict versus cooperation between you and your spouse.
During the first many years of my practice I focused on litigation where I witnessed the huge financial and emotional cost of this process. As a result, I began my training in alternative dispute resolution practices including mediation and Collaborative Family Law. Since early 2000, I have offered these processes and have seen first hand the huge benefits they offer. Though litigation is sometimes a necessary element of my practice, I generally view it as a last resort.
Once we have determined the most appropriate process for you, I will strive to achieve settlement of your issues as expeditiously and economically as possible.
As a parent, I recognize the importance of insulating the children from the conflict that is often present at separation. My fundamental belief is that the best interests of the children must be paramount in all negotiations and resolution, regardless of the dispute resolution process used. It is our job as adults to protect their interests. I believe that the use of professionals with the appropriate expertise to deal with parenting issues best serves the family. Therefore, if there are difficult parenting issues, I will almost always propose seeking the assistance of a mental health professional trained in family mediation.