There are many paths to the resolution of a family law case after separation or divorce. One very effective way to resolve disputes is through family mediation. The family law mediators at Crossroads Law have effectively helped many separating or divorcing families come to a resolution without having to fight in court.
In mediation, a family lawyer with Crossroads Law is retained to act as the facilitator to help resolve issues in dispute including spousal support, parenting time, child support and matrimonial property. The mediation session usually occurs in a boardroom with all the parties and is without prejudice, which means that what is said in mediation cannot be used in family court. However, the family law mediators at Crossroads Law understand that getting to an office may be difficult for many. Therefore, we can also conduct British Columbia or Alberta mediations by video conference with people located anywhere in world.
It is also important to understand that a family law mediator is a neutral third party and cannot provide legal advice to either party. We believe that while the family law mediator controls the process of mediation, the parties control the outcome in terms of what they are each willing to settle for. The family law mediator is not an advocate but a neutral party who assists the parties in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution.
As family law mediators we strive to create an atmosphere that is open, honest and respectful. We start by establishing ground rules for mediation and work to maintain the integrity of the process by monitoring discussions, assisting the parties in identifying options and goals, and addressing concerns as they arise. Our goal is the create a safe environment that is dynamic and conducive to settlement.
We believe that there are many advantages to family law mediation over going to court including the following:
- The cost of settling a family law dispute through mediation is typically less than going to court. In mediation, the parties do not have to go through all of the formal processes and steps that can create much more work.
- Mediation can be started much quicker than going to court as securing court dates can take months but a mediation can be booked in a matter of weeks.
- The family law mediation process is also without prejudice. This means that it is private and the discussions are not recorded and cannot be raised in court later.
- The parties to a mediation are in more control of their outcome than in court. There is no judge to decide an issue so the outcome is totally based on the ideas presented by the parties.
- Family law mediation is also much more flexible in terms of the results you can achieve as the results do not necessarily have to fit within existing laws. In court, the judge has to make a decision that is in accordance with the law; in mediation the parties can create a unique resolution that fits their particular situation.
- The setting for a family law mediation is much less formal than a courtroom. There is no court stenographer, no clerks, no judge and no audience. Mediation takes place in a boardroom or over video conference. Many people feel much less stressed about the mediation process as a result.
If you are interested in an alternative way to settle a family law dispute like spousal support or parenting time, mediation should be considered. The family law mediators at Crossroads law also conduct collaborative divorce which is similar to the mediation process but which sets more rules to hold the parties accountable. If you would like to know more about mediation or collaborative divorce please contact the family lawyers at Crossroads Law.