The Case for Mediation Over Court
Mat Wirove, Calgary Family Lawyer
The Court is not the place to resolve every conflict.
Many people are disappointed to find that after going through a stressful, lengthy and expensive legal battle, not everything is settled. Fortunately, there is a better way: mediation. From those stuck in an impasse to those seeking an impartial voice, every couple can benefit from attending mediation.
What are the benefits?
- It is cost-effective. You can attend mediation without lawyers present and share the expense. Even if lawyers are present, it is generally a cheaper option than litigation.
- It is a creative process. Mediation allows for solutions that are tailored to the unique needs of each family. Furthermore, non-legal issues that the Court cannot address can be discussed and resolved.
- The parties have control. In litigation, a Justice or Judge, with limited information and understanding, is granted the power to make decisions about your life, your money, your children and your future. In mediation, you and your ex are in charge and can design a long lasting arrangement that works for all.
- Avoidance of conflict. Not to say mediation is easy – there is work to do, and those engaging must be open to the process. Mediator facilitation, however, can significantly lower the temperature between parties.
- Therapeutic and educational. Particularly with parenting disputes, there is an aspect of mediation that can provide both learning and healing. Specific types of mediation, such as parenting coordination, are child focused, with the mediator specifically trained to provide insight into how conflict affects your kids. Parties can also, with assistance, work on how better to communicate with each other.
- Inclusion of third party professionals. If agreed to, the process can engage third-party professionals such as accountants or psychologists to assist in resolving the issues.
- Faster outcomes. In most circumstances, mediation can provide a way forward within a few months rather than the years it could take via litigation and the Court.
- It is confidential. The discussions had in mediation stay in mediation – they cannot be used against you in future Court processes. By contrast, the Court process is public with others able to access Court records, watch hearings, and even read Court decisions.
The family law mediators at Crossroads Law can assist across the gamut of different disputes: parenting, custody, access, child support, spousal support, property division, and pre-nuptial / post nuptial agreements. Call today for your free 20-minute consult.