Calgary Divorce MediationMy Spouse Cheated on Me - What Should I Do?

With the recent hacking and exposure of the Ashley Madison website, infidelity is front and center in the public consciousness nowadays. Extramarital affairs are some of the most difficult situations any marriage can face, and very often lead directly to the doorstep of a divorce attorney. 

Some couples decide to confront the issue head-on and see if they can recover their marriage after an affair, and in some cases, this is possible. Here’s a look at how to know if marriage infidelity is the doorway to divorce for you, and how mediated divorce can at least salvage something of the broken trust. 

Divorce Mediation: Saving the Relationship

If spouses approach the problem of an affair the right way, it is sometimes possible to salvage the marriage from the ashes of an affair. There are important aspects to keep in mind, and rebuilding trust can be a long and difficult road. It will not be easy - healing takes a long time, and sometimes in the end, divorce is still the best option. If that is the case, divorce mediation may likely be the best way to salvage what is left of your relationship and move forward, particularly if there are children involved. 

Dealing with a Deeper Problem

Many people think that getting to the root of the problem — finding the real reason the affair happened — is the key to solving the issue and healing the relationship. While the reason for the marriage infidelity is certainly important as a symptom of an underlying problem, it’s more important that the couple approach the problem the right way. In other words, how you deal with the act is more important than finding out why it happened. 

Love and Trust

An extramarital affair is a failure on many levels, and marriage is built on love and trust through the most difficult of times. How do you define the love that the two of you share, and how do you approach and overcome catastrophic failure on a level like this? If your love is deep enough, it can be possible to overcome something like an affair. If there is anything in your relationship that you consider “unforgivable,” you may be placing limits on your love.

A Serious Challenge

Let’s face it: For many couples, the betrayal of trust that happens through an affair is something that can be difficult or impossible to overcome. For these people, separation and dissolution of the partnership may be necessary. This doesn’t make you a bad person, nor does it compound the failure of the affair. The stress and difficulties combined with a very long road to healing may simply be too much to bear. 

Even for these couples, however, all hope is not lost. Divorce mediation can help to alleviate the anger, bitterness and betrayal and can even help to salvage a friendship and partnership from the broken romance. Mediated divorce allows the couple to sit down and work through their differences and the split in a way that allows them to retain privacy, maintain control of their decisions and assets, and come to an agreement for dissolving the partnership that is good for both. 

If you have suffered through marriage infidelity and think a mediated divorce may be an answer, connect with our team to book a complimentary consultation today. We will sit down with you to further discuss your unique situation, partnership and circumstances to discuss your options for divorce and conflict resolution. Click here to book your complimentary consultation. 

Should We Get A Cohabitation Agreement? 1What is a Cohabitation Agreement?


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.  A relationship is considered common law in Alberta when a couple has lived together for a continuous period of not less than three (3) years (see Adult Interdependent Relationships Act). The Canada Revenue Agency considers you to be in a common-law relationship when you have cohabited for 12 months. The question of when you are considered to be "common law" depends on the circumstances. As a general guideline to protect yourself, it is best to assume that you are in a common-law relationship as soon as you move in together.

Should we get a cohabitation agreement when we move in together?

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?  These are incredibly important factors that should be carefully discussed with your partner before you start packing boxes and signing a lease together. Unfortunately, many couples do not think this far ahead and can find themselves in troubling circumstances if the relationship does come to an end. A cohabitation agreement can serve as a tool to protect you and your partner and its value should not be overlooked.

Creating a Cohabitation Agreement

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.

We can assist you with creating a cohabitation agreement - the process is fairly straightforward and simple. Our team can provide more details during a complimentary consultation. Click here to book your consultation and learn more about creating a cohabitation agreement and if a cohabitation agreement is right for you. If you have specific questions, leave a comment for us below.

mediation, divorce, divorce mediation, separation, divorce lawyer, calgary divorce lawyer, calgary family lawyer, calgaryMediation: Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Clients often ask us if they need to retain a lawyer or legal counsel for their Mediation, Arbitration or Mediation with Arbitration. The simple answer is, "no". Jones Divorce Mediation is specifically designed for conflict resolution without the need to retain lawyers. Mediation is a straightforward process that is easy for individuals to navigate on their own.  It is governed by the rules of natural justice and not the complicated Rules of Court, which makes many people feel comfortable mediating without divorce lawyers. If you would like a lawyer, that is fine but it is optional - not required.

Parties are completely free to retain their own legal counsel at any time during any resolution process. Lawyers can attend Mediation, Mediation/Arbitration or Arbitration.

There are some issues that are not well suited for these services, such as situations where Child Family Services is involved, there is a history of severe abuse, or when a child has been removed from this jurisdiction. If this is your situation, you should retain a divorce lawyer.

Do you have specific questions about conflict resolution processes? Leave a comment for us below or you can email our team at We encourage all clients to book a complimentary consultation to connect with our team to learn more about your options for divorce, including mediation, arbitration, or mediation with arbitration. Click here to book your complimentary consultation.

Common Questions About Divorce Arbitration 2Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce Arbitration

Arbitration is the practice of dispute resolution. During arbitration, each party tells their side of the dispute to the arbitrator and requests a resolution. Both parties may support their cases with witnesses and documents and make arguments. Then, an impartial third party determines a dispute in a private and judicial manner.

Arbitrators reach fair resolutions for family law disputes, such as support and custody of children. A single arbitrator or a tribunal, which can include of any number of arbitrators, may participate in an arbitration hearing. The procedure must be fair and take into consideration the best interests of children, if they are involved.

Following are some commonly asked questions about divorce arbitration that we often receive from clients.

Is an arbitration resolution legally binding?

Yes. An arbitration award rendered in an arbitration process is legally binding on both parties pursuant to the Arbitration Act. An arbitration award can be converted into an Order of the Court of Queen’s Bench and enforced in the same manner as a Judgment rendered at trial.

How Long Does Arbitration 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 and ten days. An arbitration award (the binding decision rendered by the arbitrator) is rendered within one month of the conclusion of the arbitration hearing.

Is Divorce Arbitration Private And Confidential?

Yes. Arbitration sessions are private, as are the communications, documentation and notes made in the course of arbitration. Litigation involves public court appearances, documentation and evidence — all of which are matters of public record, accessible by anyone.

The only time an arbitration award will become public is if it needs to be turned into a court order for it to be enforced.  In that case, it is possible that the arbitration award will become part of a public court file but the particulars of an arbitration would only ever become part of a public court file in the event that parties opted to have a court reporter transcribe the arbitration proceedings.  Most people choose not to have arbitration proceedings transcribed.

Your Divorce Options in Alberta

If you are facing divorce or separation, it is important that you know your options. Arbitration could be a good fit for your situation, but it is important that you carefully consider all of your options for dispute resolution to ensure you can create the best path forward. Book a complimentary consultation with our expert team to fully discuss your options, including arbitration. We can answer your questions and help you determine your next next steps. Click here to book your consultation. 

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