steps in divorce, steps in separation, what should I do, mediation, divorce mediation, mediation calgaryI Just Separated. What Should I Do Next?

Are you thinking of divorce or separation from your spouse? Have you recently separated? Feeling lost and unsure of where to turn or what you should be doing next? Your approach  in dealing with your spouse during and after separation can have a tremendous impact on how your matters are resolved. Here are four key steps that you should take when you first separate.

Separation or Divorce: Seek Professional Advice

Many of the issues that often surround divorce and separation can be quickly de-escalated with the support of a professionally trained advisor, such as a well-respected divorce mediator or an experienced family law lawyer. Swiftly obtaining professional advice can save you significant stress and money in the long run, as well as ensuring you understand your rights and obligations while working toward building an effective and productive strategy to resolve your issues. A well-trained divorce mediator specializes in applying practical techniques for dealing with your separation, salvaging what's left of your relationship, and creating a positive path to move forward separately. Don't wait to engage a mediator or family lawyer - generally speaking, the sooner, the better.

Don't Make Any Promises (or Threats!)

It is important that you try not to take any specific position with your spouse regarding your separation without knowing your legal rights and obligations. Instead, commit to working together toward a settlement that works for your family as a whole. Acknowledge that while you may need some help getting to a mutually agreeable resolution, you want to work toward that goal.

Separate the Legal from the Non-Legal

Of course, any divorce or separation involves emotional and relationship issues. While all issues are important, the legal system is often not the place for the emotional and relationship issues to be resolved. People that are able to separate the legal issues from the non-legal issues are often those that are able to resolve their legal dispute quickly and constructively. Make an investment in yourself and attend counselling, read some books on how to get through a divorce or take a course such as those offered by Howard and Kerry Parsons.

Don't Panic!

People make the best decisions when they are able to use rational, left-brain thinking. Try to relax and avoid making decisions about your separation or divorce when you are angry, afraid or upset. Take the time and space you need (and seek the professional advice you need) to be able to make a sound decision.

Choose To Do It Right

It is important to understand the dispute resolution options that are available to you and select a divorce process that you believe will allow you to achieve your goals. Our expert divorce mediation team can assist you with identifying the best dispute resolution process to suit your needs and those of your family. If the best option for you involves the legal system, our sister firm Jones Divorce Law LLP can assist you with a wealth of family and divorce law expertise. Connect with us to learn more and book a consultation today.

arbitration cost, arbitration calgary, cost of arbitrated divorce
Arbitration Cost

Cost of Arbitration Services

Arbitration services are offered at a set hourly rate and therefore the cost of an arbitrated solution varies depending upon how long an arbitration hearing lasts. Essentially, arbitration cost is directly related to the of the arbitration, which is typically between one day and one week. Since it does not take nearly as long to get to arbitration than it takes to get to trial, arbitration tends to be significantly less expensive than litigation. Additionally, parties have the opportunity to control the level of formality of an arbitration hearing, which affords them more control over the cost of arbitration. In litigation, parties have no control over the process or level of formality.

There are many advantages of arbitration, depending on your personal situation and a number of factors. Connect with our team to book a private consultation to further discuss if arbitration may be right for you. We can also assist you with developing a more formal cost estimate at that point in time. You can book a consultation by emailing us at or by phone at (403) 351-3625. If you have any other questions about arbitration cost, don't hesitate to connect with our team.

For more information about divorce arbitration services in Calgary, click here.

For more information about our professionally trained mediators and arbitrators in Calgary, click here.


thinkingHow do I know if I need a divorce lawyer?

In the event your situation involves Child Family Services being actively involved or a history with CFS, a history of severe abuse or a child being abducted from this jurisdiction then we cannot be of assistance and you should retain a divorce lawyer. In situations of abuse or mental illness we can assist but it would be best if you attend with a divorce lawyer.

Aside from that, you never need a divorce lawyer to go through our resolution processes. In fact, most of our clients attend without a divorce lawyer. Since mediation only involves a settlement being reached in the event both parties agree, and since one of the mediator’s jobs is ensuring that both parties get their stories out and are heard, most people feel secure in attending mediation on their own.

Because the mediators at Jones Divorce Mediation Inc. are all knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyers themselves, they are able to provide accurate and current legal information for you. However, if you prefer to have your divorce lawyer with you during all or part of a mediation, that is perfectly acceptable and divorce lawyers are welcome to attend mediation with their clients.

It is also possible to have your divorce lawyer attend mediation initially but not throughout the entire process, or for a divorce lawyer to be brought into the process mid-way through.

If you have any questions about whether or not you need to seek counsel from a divorce lawyer, or are unsure about what path to take, connect with our team. We are here to help you move forward and create resolution. Let's get started.

cohabCohabitation Agreements: What are they? Are they for us?

A cohabitation agreement is a legal contract that defines the division of assets and spousal support when a common-law relationship comes to an end. It is important to note that the definition of "common-law" varies from province to province in Canada, and can be difficult to determine.

"We're planning to move in together. Should we get a cohabitation agreement?"

The answer to this very common question depends on several factors, and the evaluation of each is complex. Is property involved? Are there children involved? Is one partner's income greater than the other?

Jones Divorce Mediation Inc. can assist cohabiting parties or parties intending to cohabit to reach mutually agreeable terms regarding the division of their property and possibly the amount of spousal support payable in the event of a separation. By predetermining these issues, people have the ability to avoid future costly and stressful litigation. Cohabitation agreements can also be used to protect income, resolve debt issues, protect inheritance and other exemptions, protect a family business, customize a settlement and avoid uncertainty.

To learn more about cohabitation agreements, connect with our team to book an initial consultation.

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