There are many paths to resolution in a family law case following separation or divorce.
One of the most effective is mediation.
In mediation, a family lawyer with Crossroads Law is retained to act as facilitator to help resolve issues in dispute including spousal support, parenting time, child support and matrimonial property. The session involves all the parties and is without prejudice, meaning what is said in the process cannot be used in family court. Oftentimes, mediation occurs in a boardroom, but we understand getting to an office may be difficult for many. As such, Crossroads Law can conduct British Columbian or Albertan mediations by video conference with clients located anywhere in world.
Also important to understand: a family law mediator is neutral and cannot provide legal advice to either party. It is our firm belief that although the mediator controls the process, the parties control the outcome through the terms of settlement. And in reaching those terms, the mediator is not an advocate but a facilitator, assisting the parties to reach a mutually agreed upon resolution.
We strive to create an atmosphere that is open, honest and respectful. We start by establishing ground rules then work to maintain the integrity of the mediation process by monitoring discussions, assisting the parties in identifying options and goals, and addressing concerns as they arise. A safe environment that is dynamic and conducive to settlement – that is our goal.
So, what are the advantages to family law mediation over going to court? There are a number:
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. A mediation can be booked in a matter of weeks.
As mentioned above, the family law mediation process is without prejudice. Discussions are private, cannot be recorded, and cannot be brought up in court later.
The parties have more control of the outcome in mediation than in court. There is no judge to decide an issue – the outcome is based solely on the presentation of the parties.
Family law mediation is much more flexible in terms of the achievable results. In court, the judge must make a decision in accordance with the law; in mediation, the parties can create a unique resolution that fits their specific circumstance.
The setting for a family law mediation is much less formal than a courtroom. There is no stenographer, no clerks, no judge, no audience. Mediation takes place in a boardroom or via video conference – settings many people feel more comfortable in than a courtroom.
If you’re interested in an alternative settlement of a family law dispute, mediation may well be your solution. If you’d like to know more about the process, contact us at Crossroads Law. Our family law mediators at Crossroads Law have helped many separating or divorcing families come to a resolution without a court fight – they could help you too.
Ask a Family Lawyer | Mediation Part 1
Marcus Sixta, the founder of Crossroads Law, discusses Mediation and why Court may not be the best place to resolve a family law dispute.
Ask a Family Lawyer | Mediation Part 2
Melissa Salfi, an accredited Family Law Mediator at Crossroads Law, defines mediation and what you can expect from a mediation process.
During COVID 19, many people are uncomfortable with face-to-face meetings. For this reason, Crossroads Law offers remote mediation services for family law and divorce files across British Columbia and Alberta.
Remote mediation involves using videoconferencing technology to connect the mediator and participants. Everyone logs into the mediation through Zoom by clicking on the link that is emailed and following basic set up instructions.
Remote mediation can also provide the participants with separate spaces to have private discussions. The participants start together on the same screen where everyone can see each other and communicate. However, if anyone wants to have private discussions, a new private area is established where only those invited into that area can communicate and see each other.
Remote mediations can connect people across vast distances. Therefore, remote mediation can be a way to resolve family law disputes where the participants live in different cities or towns. Remote family law mediation is also useful for those in rural areas where it may be difficult to access lawyers and mediators.