Going through a divorce can be tough. If you and your spouse are finding it hard to agree on things like who gets what, child support, or parenting, mediation may be a simpler way to sort things out without going to court.
Mediation is like having a neutral friend help you and your spouse talk things through. You both will meet with a professional mediator who helps guide the conversation and find compromises. The main things usually discussed include splitting assets and debts, spousal support, child custody and support.
One of the benefits of mediation is that the mediation itself can be done with or without your own lawyers. Although you will likely need to retain your own lawyers to assist with putting your agreement into writing and completing your divorce, the mediation itself can happen without lawyers present, which significantly reduces the cost. Unlike hiring lawyers which can get expensive as you both would need one, here, you share the cost of one mediator, making it a less expensive alternative.
What Happens During Mediation?
You, your spouse, and the mediator will sit down together to talk. Unlike a court situation, where a judge makes decisions, here you both are in control. You’ll work together to find solutions that work for your family. It might take one or more meetings to sort everything out.
How to Get Ready for Mediation in Alberta?
- Choose a Date: Pick a day when you both are free from other distractions.
- Handling Costs: Talk about how you’ll pay for the mediation. Usually, costs are shared.
- Prepare Your Documents: Gather documents like:
- Any legal agreements between you and your spouse
- Proof of ownership for assets
- Tax Returns and Notices of Assessment, or other evidence of the parties’ income
- Bank statements
- Property valuations
- Details about debts,
- Details relating to your children and their expenses.
How Should You Act During Mediation?
- Be Open-Minded: Be ready to discuss tough topics and be open to finding a middle ground.
- Look for Solutions: Consider your path forward rather than what has happened in the past.
- Stay Respectful: Even if things get heated, stay respectful.
- Take Your Time: Don’t rush. It might take a few sessions to sort everything out.
- Keep Things Private: What’s shared in mediation stays in mediation, unlike court, where everything is public.
Can Mediation Really Work?
Yes, it can! Success in mediation depends on being prepared, following the guidelines, and working with a skilled mediator.
Mediation can be a peaceful way to work through the rough spots of a divorce. It’s about working together to close this chapter of your life and start fresh, with less stress and fewer costs than going to court.
At Jones Divorce and Family Law, our mediators are experienced and ready to help, whether in person or over a call. And now, thanks to technology, we can even do mediation through video calls like Zoom, so it doesn’t matter where you are; we’re here to assist.
Once you both agree on a way forward, we can refer you each to lawyers to help put that agreement into writing if necessary, and to give you independent legal advice.
Ready to explore this less stressful and more cooperative path? Contact Jones Divorce and Family Law today. Our expert mediators in Calgary are ready to help you both find a way forward that feels right and fair. This is a chance to work through the issues of divorce or separation in a more peaceful and cost-effective way.