Mediation Minus the Lawyers
Melissa Salfi, family lawyer, mediator, fertility lawyer
Engage any legal professional and they will advise that mediation is a proven method of dispute resolution.
But what if no lawyer has been retained?
The following explores mediation process without legal counsel, applicable in two specific scenarios:
1 – Self-represented Litigants:
You are representing yourself in Court and wish to avoid the cost of retaining a lawyer to continue the litigation and/or proceed to trial.
2 – Unrepresented Individuals Outside of Court:
You have separated from your spouse and you are trying to reach an agreement on property division, support, and/or a parenting schedule, but your negotiations have come to a standstill.
In each of the above circumstances, mediation can be a cost-effective and efficient source of resolution. The mediator – an impartial facilitator whose sole role is to offer guidance – aids positive communication and negotiation between the parties, helping them find common interests and seek creative compromise. And as the mediator is jointly chosen and retained, the cost is shared, making the process more affordable than each party retaining their own legal counsel.
A further advantage of mediation: the parties ultimately retain control over the outcome and can customize the solutions to suit their family’s needs, lending the process more durable and satisfying agreements. While the mediator does not possess decision-making capacity and, unlike an arbitrator, cannot judge the dispute or make a ruling in the event of disagreement, a lawyer trained in mediation can provide information, explaining the law and, in some circumstances, providing an evaluation of the case were it to be heard in Court.
Can a party can be compelled to attend mediation? In most situations, it is a voluntary and private process. Confidentiality is assured, though there are a few exceptions related to child protection and personal safety.
The mediators at Crossroads Law are experienced lawyers and fully accredited Family Law Mediators with the Law Society. Parties may meet in-person or over the phone prior to the process; once initiated, the mediation setting at Crossroads Law is comfortable, private, and informal. If a way forward is achieved, we can document and draft the separation agreement, subject to Independent Legal Advice.
Mediation can also now be done remotely by Zoom or other video conference application. Therefore, the family law mediators at Crossroads Law can assist you no matter where you live in BC or Alberta.
Call Crossroads Law today to book a free mediation consult with one of our mediators and discover how mediation can bring resolution to your dispute.