divorce mediation, mediation, divorce, calgary divorce lawyer, calgary divorce, calgary family lawyer, family law, divorce law, how to get a divorceIs divorce mediation right for me? Is mediation right for us as a couple?

Divorce mediation is a process that promotes effective communication, creative solutions and the resolution of conflict in a mutually agreeable manner. The way that issues become resolved can have a tremendous effect on a family’s adjustment to separation and future relationships with one another. All disputes can be resolved through mediation. Whether it is decision making, parenting time, the division of assets and debts or how income should be shared or any other number of issues, mediation can lead to the best possible outcome.

Who is mediation for?

Mediation is best suited to couples that are committed to working toward a solution to their dispute. Parties do not have to feel friendly to one another. In fact, it is very common for there to be feelings of anger, mistrust and trepidation about the other party - this is normal. The most important element is that both parties want to work toward a solution. Thus, mediation requires both parties to be involved in the process.

Will mediation work for my divorce?

A mediated resolution can only be achieved through the participation of both parties to a dispute so both people need to be willing to work with the mediator to achieve a solution. Mediation is a cooperative process - instead of attacking one another, the parties decide to tackle their problems together to work towards a mutual solution. This builds communication skills that can be used in future planning and parenting, which is of course critical when children are involved in a divorce.

Finally, mediation also promotes understanding which can lead to the foundation of a more cooperative relationship after divorce. This is another great advantage of using mediation for your divorce.

When is mediation not suitable for divorce?

Mediation is not for everyone. There are instances in which mediation will not be suitable to resolve your divorce, such as when Child Family Services is actively involved, when there is a history of severe abuse or when a child has been abducted from the jurisdiction.

Initial Consultation

Each and every divorce, couple and family are unique. Let's get started with an initial consultation - completely complimentary and confidential. We can discuss the process of divorce mediation in greater detail as well as other options available, including arbitration or mediation with arbitration. Our team will walk you through the process and provide you with the information to help you make a decision on how to move forward. Click here to connect with our team to book your complimentary consultation.

divorce mediation, divorce, alberta, calgary, mediation, options, separation, how to divorceOptions for Divorce in Alberta

There are several options for couples to divorce in Alberta, including traditional divorce (which generally involves litigation or the legal system), divorce mediation, arbitration, or mediation with arbitration. Jones Divorce Mediation Inc. specializes in divorce mediation and arbitration with a philosophy of working collaboratively with couple and families to create a positive path forward and ultimate resolution.

Benefits of Divorce Mediation

In our last post, we outlined several advantages of mediation for divorce. You can view this post here. Following are the remaining advances of utilizing divorce mediation to support your divorce. Generally speaking, mediation tends to result in a more customized, personal and cost-effective result as compared to other dispute resolution methods. Here are a few more benefits of divorce mediation:

  1. Confidentiality
    Mediation sessions are private, as are the communications, documentation and notes made in the course of mediation. Litigation involves court appearances that are open to the public to attend and documentation and evidence also are a matter of public record, accessible by anyone.
  2. Flexibility
    Mediators can agree to go as quickly or as slowly as both parties wish, depending on your needs. Mediators will work around your work and personal schedules. Litigation and court appearances are not nearly as flexible.
  3. Promotes Amicability
    Mediation involves parties gaining an increased understanding of each other, learning and practicing skills to improve communication and diminish conflict. This promotes the preservation of the relationship, which can be invaluable to parties who will be co-parenting for years to come. In stark contrast, litigation is, by its very nature, adversarial. Parties often resort to giving evidence outlining the opposing parties’ negative characteristics and damaging history in order to win. The general by-product of traditional litigation is to create an environment which divides and polarizes parties and fosters continued conflict.
  4. Protects Children from Conflict
    One of the greatest indicators of how well children will be able to cope with separation is the extent to which they are exposed to conflict between their parents. The increased animosity resulting from traditional litigation is difficult to hide from children and therefore increases the risk of long  term harm to the children. In contrast, by promoting effective communication, cooperation and understanding through mediation, parties are better able to reduce the conflict between them and learn to effectively co-parent into the future for the benefit of their children.
  5. Consistency
    In mediation, parties use the same professional through the entire process. As a result, following the initial sessions, the mediator is personally familiar with the parties, their family circumstances, the details of their property, personal dynamics, specific challenges, etc.. During traditional litigation, parties generally attend court multiple times and before a variety of Justices, each of whom has varying perspectives and approaches. Many interim applications involve Justices making decisions based on an incomplete information regarding the family circumstances due to the limited time litigants are permitted to present their case. The result is that court decisions sometimes lack consistency.
  6. Compliance
    Mediated solutions result in a high level of compliance by the parties because the resolution was arrived at jointly and is mutually agreeable. Quite simply, parties are more likely to abide by a harmonious agreement than a decision that is imposed on them in a litigation setting. Similarly, parties are less likely to seek to change a settlement that they personally developed. Additionally, in the event disputes arise in the future, parties are more likely to resolve matters by agreement and can return to their mediator for future assistance, if required.
  7. Support
    Parties are supported and encouraged to “think outside the box” to find a unique and customized solution which addresses their interests, meets their needs and accomplishes their goals. Through the support and assistance of the mediator, parties can gain valuable communication skills, an appreciation of the other party’s point of view and a better understanding of their personal and family dynamics. These skills and insights assist parties to maintain and improve their relationship into the future.
  8. Mutual Agreement
    A mediated resolution is not achieved until both parties are able to say “yes” to a resolution developed through the mediation process. Neither party, nor the mediator, can impose a decision on either party. The result is a mutually agreed solution which has the added benefit of preserving a working relationship between the parties.

Benefit from our Experience
With Jones Divorce Mediation Inc., you can be confident that you are in good hands. The professional with whom you will be working has a law degree, additional training in conflict resolution, mediation and/or arbitration and many years of experience practicing law exclusively in the areas of family and divorce law. As a result, clients can feel confident in the information being provided, allowing them to make informed, sound decisions to achieve the best solution for themselves and their family.

Let's get started - book a complimentary consultation to meet in-person with a member of our team. We can further discuss the benefits of mediation and the specifics of your unique situation. Click here to book your consultation. Do you have other questions? Connect with our team here.

divorce mediation, mediation, divorce, calgary, alberta, mediation for divorce, divorce optionsAdvantages of Mediation in Divorce

If you are going through or considering separation in Alberta, divorce mediation is one of several dispute resolutions available to you. There are several distinct advantages of meditation as compared to divorce litigation. It is important to bear in mind that each family situation is unique - we suggest starting out with a complimentary consultation to learn more about all of the options available to you. Divorce is not simple - it is important that you understand your options and work with a professional team to support you in the process.

Read Part II of this article here. 

What are the advantages of divorce mediation as compared to traditional divorce?

  1. Customized Solution
    The ability to be creative and work together to come up with a mutually agreeable solution is one of the most significant advantages of mediation. Parties are able to think outside the box and are not confined to solutions which could otherwise be imposed by a judge.
  2. Control
    In a mediation, the decision making rests with the parties. The parties retain the final say over the terms of their agreement, so there is no agreement without each party saying “yes” to its terms.
  3. Expedient 
    A solution achieved through mediation is efficient. Generally, a mediated settlement is reached within seven settlement meetings, or between three weeks and three months, as opposed to the multi-year process that can be involved involved with traditional litigation. Achieving a solution in a timely manner reduces conflict, stress, anxiety and cost.
  4. Affordable
    • Mediation is far less time consuming than litigation. Traditional court channels typically take months and even years to navigate, whereas mediation is generally completed within seven sessions. When legal fees are based on the amount of time spent on a file, it is not surprising that litigation becomes so costly.
    • Mediation allows parties the opportunity to employ one professional who is dedicated to helping the parties reach a harmonious resolution instead of each party paying for their own professionals.
    • Lawyers charge for the back and forth correspondence between them, for financial disclosure to be exchanged, numerous pleadings to be prepared and filed, and court appearances where they often spend time waiting in court before a matter is heard, for which they bill that time. Side-stepping traditional litigation by opting for mediation will reduce your cost because lawyers are largely removed from the equation.
    • Parties are much more likely to abide by the terms of a resolution they have helped to create than they are to a resolution imposed on them by a judge. The result is that expenses are further reduced because lawyers do not typically need to be employed to enforce the terms of mediated solutions, despite mediated agreements being fully enforceable by the court.
  5. Personal Attention
    Mediation sessions allow parties to speak and be heard. Parties work with the mediator to generate and evaluate resolution options, seeking to achieve an outcome that meets both parties’ needs and goals.

There are seven other benefits to divorce mediation that we'll share with you in our next post. In the meantime, if you have questions about your divorce and the options available to you, connect with our team to set up a complimentary consultation. We can discuss your options in a confidential, professional setting to assist you with determining your best path forward. Click here to book your complimentary consultation.

How Does the Arbitration Process Work? 1What is arbitration?

Divorce arbitration can be a suitable dispute resolution channel for clients that are unable to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. An arbitration is akin to a court trial and an arbitrated decision takes the place of a trial judgment.  The divorce arbitration process is private and confidential, unlike litigation that takes place in open court with documentation accessible to the public. In contrast, divorce arbitration services traditionally take place in a private boardroom. Our divorce arbitration process is build on the premise of flexibility and simplicity - we walk clients through the entire process step by step, in order to accommodate clients that prefer not to retain divorce lawyers (although anyone is free to attend arbitration with a divorce lawyer).

How does arbitration work?

The arbitration process always involves 3 phases

  1. Initial arbitration meeting
  2. Arbitration hearing
  3. Arbitration award

When there are emergent matters that need to be resolved in advance of the arbitration hearing itself the arbitration process will also involve interim applications.  You can find more detailed information on each element of the arbitration process here.

How long does the arbitration process take?

The length of an arbitration varies depending on the availability of the parties, the arbitrator and any legal counsel involved, the number and complexity of the issues requiring resolution and the number of witnesses involved in the arbitration hearing.

Typically an arbitration lasts between one (1) and ten (10) days. An arbitration award (the binding decision rendered by the arbitrator) is usually rendered within one month of the conclusion of the arbitration hearing.

Divorce Arbitration: Is it right for you?

If you are facing divorce, it is crucial that you understand all of your options - these may include working with a divorce lawyer, mediation, arbitration, or mediation with arbitration. Each and every family situation is unique, so we recommend booking a complimentary consultation with our team to learn more about each option and what may work best for you and your family. It is important that you not only understand all of your options but that you work with a team of professionals to help you achieve resolution and a clear path forward. Connect with us if you are ready to get started.

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