Divorce Mediation


Divorce Mediation in
Duncan, BC

Couple Attending Divorce MediationDid you know that most couples who get divorced in Duncan never go to court?

This surprises some people whose only exposure to divorce has been in the movies. Litigation and long courtroom battles are not necessary – in fact, the overworked legal system in BC prefers to avoid that.

Disputes are to be expected in divorces with the stakes so high and people’s futures on the line.

However, there are several viable alternatives to litigation to resolve disputes. Divorce mediation has one of the best success rates when it comes to reaching agreements on disputed matters.fr

The experienced divorce mediators at Jennings Family Law provide a practical, non-adversarial, cost-effective way for you and your ex to reach an agreement without delays so that you can turn the page and move on with your lives.

What is divorce mediation?

With divorce mediation, you and your ex-spouse may never set foot in a courtroom.

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that aims to resolve differences between parties in any major dispute. The ultimate aim in divorce mediation is to reach a legally binding separation agreement that sets out all of the terms of your divorce and which you both sign

This requires the guidance of an experienced and independent mediator, who is skilled at understanding the main issues, taking the emotions out of the situation, and guiding the disputing parties to a resolution.

In most divorces, the main contentious issues are:

  • Custody and parenting arrangements for the children of the marriage
  • Property and debt division
  • Spousal support
  • Child support

The divorce mediator will attempt to bring the outstanding issues into the open and facilitate respectful negotiation and collaboration between you and your ex.

This can be a challenge when emotions, tensions, and potential for further conflict is running high during a separation. However, if you and your spouse are at least on speaking terms, mediation may be a viable option.

Who are divorce mediators in Duncan, BC?

Divorce mediators in Duncan are often senior lawyers or retired judges. The mediators at Jennings Family Law are experienced lawyers.

As long as your mediator is neutral and independent, aware of the relevant laws, qualified in mediating difficult situations and can explain the consequences of decisions made, you have a chance of a successful outcome.

Your mediator cannot represent either you or your spouse if no agreement is reached through mediation and you need to move to the next stage of dispute resolution (arbitration or litigation).

However, you are entitled to hire collaboration or mediation lawyers to speak to the mediator, represent your best interests, and work together to try to reach an agreement.

Why choose divorce mediation in Duncan, BC?

There are good reasons for couples to opt for divorce mediation.

For most separating partners, litigation is the worst-case scenario. The courtroom is no place for a family to discuss how to move forward with their lives.

Compared to litigation, therefore, there are major advantages to mediation. Some of the benefits are obvious and others less so:

  • Mediation keeps you out of court
  • There is no winner or loser like with litigation
  • It’s less formal and intimidating than going to court
  • The approach is less adversarial, meaning reduced stress for you and the children
  • You remain in control of key decisions (rather than a judge deciding and issuing a court order)
  • You can still protect your best interests (a judge may decide your best interests)
  • Your affairs remain private and confidential (litigation will become public record)
  • It’s much less costly than going to court
  • You and your spouse can customize a solution rather than being bound by strict application of the law
  • Mediation may resolve matters in one session – no waiting or delays
  • Mediation can help your relationship while litigation may damage it (which may be a poor outcome for the children)

In the right circumstances, divorce mediation should be a priority consideration if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement around the kitchen table. Even if it can help you resolve some issues, it is generally a worthwhile process as it will save time and expense.

Mediation has the best chance of success when:

  • You and your spouse remain on good terms, generally
  • If you are not on good terms, you are at least prepared to negotiate
  • You would both prefer an amicable agreement
  • You are committed to staying out of court
  • You are looking for a fast and practical solution in the interests of both parties
  • You want to keep costs down as much as possible
  • You are both prepared to sign and commit to a mediated agreement

Generally speaking, divorce mediation may be your most affordable, fastest, and most effective solution to resolve divorce disputes.

How to prepare for divorce mediation in Duncan, BC

Several sessions may be required in mediation, depending on the number and depth of outstanding issues and how the first session progresses.

Your mediator will be prepared. You and your spouse should be too.

At the first session, your mediator will likely meet with you and your spouse separately at first and then together. Here are some pointers to prepare for this:

  • If you have a divorce lawyer, make sure that all the facts of your case are known and what your proposal is to your spouse
  • Inform your lawyer of your strengths/weaknesses as well as your spouse’s, as well as your priorities/bottom-line position
  • Provide full financial disclosure and prepare all the necessary documentation to support your case
  • Ask your lawyer to prepare a mediation brief for the mediator, outlining your position and the relevant facts/opinions/preferences/priorities
  • Send this to the mediator before the first session so that when you meet, your position is clear and the mediator can consider ways to facilitate an agreement beforehand
  • Be prepared to be respectful in mediation sessions and explain your side of the story clearly when you have a chance
  • Stay calm and do not feel pressured into accepting anything that is not in your best interests

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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