About Sharon Silbert

Sharon Silbert Family Law

Sharon B. Silbert, J.D., Acc.FM. (OAFM) is a lawyer and mediator who is committed to helping her clients handle family law issues respectfully and constructively, with minimal court involvement.

Sharon understands that regardless of the circumstances, family law matters are deeply personal and often emotionally-charged. She adopts a problem-solving approach, listening closely, responding mindfully, and guiding clients with care.

Sharon is a qualified Collaborative Family Lawyer and has been accredited as a Family Mediator by the Ontario Association for Family Mediation. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where she obtained her law degree after completing undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia and McMaster University. Prior to establishing her own practice in St. Catharines, Sharon honed her legal skills at a large national law firm in Toronto and a boutique family law firm in Hamilton.

Sharon is a member of the roster of family mediators for the Centre for Family Mediation, which provides court-connected mediation services at the Family Court in St. Catharines, and has been a presenter in the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Mandatory Information Program for family law proceedings. Sharon has also acted as a Contributing Editor for various titles of the prominent legal encyclopedia Halsbury’s Laws of Canada, including the title on Family Law.

Sharon is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the International Association of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM), the ADR Institute of Ontario, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), the Lincoln County Law Association, and the Hamilton Law Association.

Philosophy

My practice is devoted exclusively to consensual dispute resolution. I do not litigate cases.

Courts are, and always will be, a vital part of the family justice system, and in some cases, going to court is a necessary and appropriate method of handling a family dispute. However, with appropriate professional support, most individuals experiencing a family conflict or transition can successfully negotiate workable solutions without judicial intervention.

I embrace a participatory model of family law, and take pride in the fact that I help clients maintain control over their own lives by crafting settlements that meet their unique needs. I work hard to help my clients minimize inter-personal conflict, which can help to achieve cost-effective outcomes.

I have made the choice to restrict my practice to consensual dispute resolution because I recognize that the skill set required to achieve negotiated resolutions is different in many ways from the skill set required to be an effective litigation strategist and trial advocate. Because I do not take on cases that involve court proceedings, I am better able to use my time and energy to respond promptly to client needs, guiding them toward lasting agreements. I am also proud to include family formation work as part of my practice.

“The time has clearly come for lawyers to begin to emphasize their role as mediators, conciliators, and peacemakers—as counselors for what is right, not merely advocates for what is legally possible… Lawyers need to remind themselves that the courtroom is often not a place conducive to peacemaking or conflict healing, yet peacemaking and conflict healing are first obligations of our profession.”

– North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice James G. Exum, Jr., “The Lawyer as Peacemaker,” 34 Bar Notes 8, 9 (1983).

Testimonials

"From our very first meeting, it was evident that Sharon had both of our interests in mind, gave us confidence in her willingness to stick with us and at the same time remain neutral to the difficult issues before us. Sharon had an amazing ability to keep us focused, moving forward, and always made sure an atmosphere of mutual respect was present."

- Mediation Client, January, 2014

"Sharon was professional and assisted us in reaching an agreement that I think otherwise may have taken years if we ended up going to court."

- Mediation Client, January 2014

"Sharon... made me feel empowered and in control of an otherwise overwhelming situation."

- Mediation Client, February 2014

"I sincerely wanted to say THANK YOU! Your kind guidance throughout this process has kept me level headed. Thank you very much Sharon."

- Family Law Client, November, 2013