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Divorce and Family Mediation: You CAN live your best life

When you think of divorce, certain words may come to mind like ‘conflict’, ‘contention’ and ‘courtroom battles’.

A lot of divorces end up being extremely stressful, time consuming as well as financially and emotionally draining. But what if I told you it didn’t have to be that way?! There is an alternative approach that offers you a more peaceful and collaborative way to dissolve a marriage: mediation!

You can navigate the challenging process of divorce or separation with greater ease and with you and your children’s best interests in mind.

What is family mediation?

Maybe the term Family Mediation is new to you. To break it down, family mediation is a voluntary, confidential process where a neutral third party, the mediator (aka me!), facilitates constructive communication and negotiation.

Unlike legal proceedings, which involve adversarial courtroom proceedings and other people deciding for you, mediation encourages couples to work together to find mutually acceptable solutions to issues such as division of assets, child support, parenting plans. and spousal support, among other topics.

Benefits of family mediation

There are many benefits to choosing family mediation but here are my top five.

1. Reduced conflict

Mediation encourages you and your spouse to be transparent and talk to each other which can help reduce conflict and tension. By fostering respectful and constructive dialogue and facilitating awkward conversations that may have never happened before, mediation can help you speak openly about your concerns to find solutions that meet both of your needs and the needs of your kids.

2. Cost-effective

Mediation is often more cost-effective than litigation, as it typically involves fewer legal fees and court costs. By avoiding lengthy courtroom battles, you can save time and money and protect your kids from conflict.

3. Faster resolution

Mediation leads to a faster resolution of divorce proceedings compared to litigation, which can drag on for months or even years. Since mediation is a more streamlined process, you can often reach a settlement in a matter of weeks, allowing you to move forward with your lives sooner.

4. Empowerment

In mediation, you have more control over the outcome of your divorce or separation because you are actively involved in the decision-making process. This can lead to greater satisfaction with the final settlement, a smoother transition into post-divorce life, and a more durable agreement because it is tailored to each person’s specific situation.

5. Preservation of relationships

Unlike litigation, which can exacerbate conflict and strain relationships, mediation focuses on preserving relationships between divorcing spouses so you can continue to parent together in a good way or separate without burning the ground behind you. By working together and doing what is best for your family situation, couples can often maintain a more amicable relationship.

How it all works

Initial consultation

The mediation process typically begins with a confidential pre-mediation meeting with you and your divorcing spouse. This happens separately. I will assess you both to make sure that mediation will work for everyone, explain the mediation process, answer any questions you may have, and ask questions about what you want to make decisions about in the process.

Identification of issues

I will help you both to identify the issues that need to be addressed, such as property division, child support, parenting plans, and spousal support.

Negotiation and problem-solving

The couple, with my guidance, engages in negotiation and problem-solving to reach agreements on each issue. I facilitate communication and ensure that both parties are heard and respected throughout the process and that they are adhering to the Family Law Act of British Columbia, with regard to the best interests of your child and child support.

Drafting of an agreement

Once agreements have been reached, I assist you both in drafting a comprehensive memorandum of understanding (MOU) that outlines the terms of your agreements.

Divorce is never easy, but mediation can offer you a more peaceful and collaborative way to navigate the process. By fostering communication, reducing conflict, and empowering you and your soon-to-be-ex to find solutions that work for you, mediation can help you move forward with your lives with greater ease and ensure that your children are not caught up in the mess of your conflict.

Whether you’re considering divorce or already in the midst of proceedings, mediation may offer a path to resolution that is both cost-effective and preserves your family relationships so that you can move forward with your life in a more positive way.

ByJoselin Corrigan

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