Airdrie Divorce Mediation Lawyers

Divorce Mediation in Airdrie, Alberta

Airdrie Divorce Mediation LawyersIf you and your partner decide to divorce in Airdrie, you will need to get together and decide on plans for the future.

That means arranging property and asset division, spousal support, child custody, child support, and so on.

These matters can be problematic and there are several different approaches available to bring about a divorce agreement that covers all the key aspects, including:

You don’t need to end up in court, even if there are significant differences between you and your spouse. 

Divorce mediation with the aid of the experienced mediators at Jennings Family Law can help you reach an amicable resolution that positions you to move forward with your life.

Jennings Family Law is excited to share that Beecher Menzies, the premier family lawyer in Airdrie Alberta, has joined our team of compassionate and highly skilled family lawyers. Beecher brings 24 years of experience helping Canadian families navigate the difficulties of divorce, separation, and estate disputes with the most amicable path forward.

What is divorce mediation?

If you and your partner are prepared to work together to resolve your differences about property division, child support, custody, parenting, spousal support, and so on, divorce mediation is a recommended option.

You and your spouse hire a professional, independent mediator to guide you towards a viable separation agreement. The mediator may or may not be a lawyer but cannot give legal advice during this process.

A mediator acts as a facilitator and will not make any final decisions (unlike an arbitrator) and there is no winner or loser (unlike with litigation). You remain in control of making the final decisions and the goal is a mutually beneficial outcome.

It only works if both parties are committed to the process and are prepared to negotiate.

The Alberta courts generally approve of mediation as it keeps divorce cases from cluttering up the courts and it is deemed a preferable option for all parties involved, including children.

Main benefits of divorce mediation

Compared to litigation, mediation offers:

  • The chance to remain in charge of decisions that affect you both
  • A better opportunity to maintain a good working relationship with your ex (better for the children)
  • The chance to speak your mind in an open environment
  • Lower costs – mediation is cheaper than a court battle
  • A quicker settlement – litigation can be a long, drawn-out process
  • A non-adversarial approach to a divorce settlement
  • A method for resolving any future disputes you face 
  • Less anxiety – litigation can be a stressful process

It is worth noting that mediated agreements have a high compliance rate – another reason why they are favoured by judges in Alberta.

What is the role of the mediator? 

The mediator acts as an independent, neutral third party who is responsible for

  • Managing the mediation process from start to finish
  • Coaching you and your spouse on how to achieve a successful mediation
  • Facilitating communication between you and your spouse
  • Making information clear and unambiguous for you
  • Answering questions and clarifying issues and concerns aired by you and your spouse
  • Advising on the mediation process
  • Providing new perspectives when there is a deadlock
  • Writing a mediation report outlining what is agreed during the process

5 steps to divorce mediation in Alberta

Our divorce mediators follow a simple five-step process to successfully mediate between spouses:

  1. Introduction and set protocols – to help you understand the process and the goals
  2. Statement of the main issues – you and your spouse provide your sides of the story
  3. Information gathering – presentation of evidence to the mediator
  4. Discussion on the crux of the matter – the key issues analyzed
  5. Negotiating an agreement – using creative ways to solve deadlocked positions

How long does a mediated divorce take?

The mediation process is quicker than litigation but should not be viewed as a “quick fix”. 

Several sessions may be required over a few days or even weeks if there are many points of dispute between you and your spouse.

It is not always successful, in which case your mediator may recommend an alternative dispute resolution method.

You may need to hire an arbitrator or independent lawyers to solve problems collaboratively or to begin litigation.

However, even if mediation helps you reach an agreement on some of the outstanding issues, it should be worth going through the process to save time and money when resolving the remaining conflicts.

Can I speak with the divorce mediator privately? 

Most mediation sessions are conducted predominantly with both parties in the same room as the mediator.

However, it is sometimes possible for a mediator to go back and forth between rooms (a process known as “caucusing”). 

The contents of private conversations may be kept confidential or shared with the other party while caucusing, depending on what is agreed between you, your spouse, and the mediator.

How can I prepare for mediation in Airdrie? 

Mediation is a major step for a couple going through a divorce. It can be a little stressful and it is best to be prepared for your session(s).

Here are some things you can do to give yourself the best possible chance of success:

  • Think about the key issues that you and your partner are disputing
  • Carefully consider your priorities – interests, needs, goals, concerns
  • Consider what your spouse’s perspective and interests may be
  • Consider potential compromises between you
  • Start with the mindset of communicating effectively, listening to other perspectives, and patiently seeking fair outcomes
  • Try to let go of the past- only the future matters in mediation so try not to apportion blame
  • Place your trust in the mediator and the process even if you cannot trust your spouse
  • Gather all documentation that demonstrates your financial situation including pay stubs, income tax returns, mortgage statements, financial statements, pension statements, evidence of costs associated with your children’s education, medical expenses, etc.
  • Prepare a list of assets and liabilities

Get help through divorce mediation

At Jennings Family Law, our divorce lawyers and mediators are committed to helping you achieve a prompt and cost-effective agreement with your spouse. 

Contact us today for a confidential consultation and case evaluation.

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