"Marcus helped mediate our separation agreement. He was thorough, understanding and a great mediator. Both the lawyers we used as independent counsel commented on the high quality of Marcus’ work."
Q: Why did you decide to become a mediator? A: I have seen the transformative impacts of consensual dispute resolution many times, both in my prior role as a social worker, and as a family lawyer. Mediation has the potential to resolve serious disputes in a way that benefits both spouses and children by reducing conflict, saving financial resources, and generating outcomes that are truly responsive to the needs of a particular family. These types of outcomes make me excited to be a mediator as I can affect lasting and positive change for families going through separation and divorce.
Q: What skills and experience do you bring to your role as a mediator? A: Before I was a mediator and family lawyer, I was a social worker, and that experience has guided my career path in many ways. I have extensive training in family dynamics, counselling and conflict resolution, and hands on experience helping people in crisis. This fits well with my role as a mediator for family law disputes as separation and divorce are known to be the most stressful life events next to the death of a loved one.
Q: How would you describe your mediation style? A: I practice an interest-based mediation that can be facilitative or evaluative. This means that I assist the parties by exploring differing points of view and finding common interest, with the goal of creating various options to settle the dispute. However, I am also willing to provide my opinion on potential outcomes in court and weigh the merits of each party’s case if they ask me to do so. Bottom line, I don’t think any one model for mediation is perfect for everyone, so I am flexible in my approach.
Mat Wirove, Calgary Mediator
"Mat is very knowledgeable about the law. He is very good at getting to the heart of the issues and I would not hesitate to recommend him."
Q: Why did you decide to become a mediator? A: I became a mediator because after years of working for my clients as a family lawyer in the court system, I’ve learned that for most families (even the high conflict situations), court is not the best place to resolve matters. I believe that parties should have a greater say in how their divorce is going to be divided, rather than the court. With mediation, the parties have greater control and make decisions together about how to divide their assets and parenting time. I am also willing to be an arbitrator so that if parties are unable to decide together I can assist by becoming their decision maker.
Q: What skills and experience do you bring to your role as a mediator? A: I have been involved in all aspects of family law and have the experience that would be helpful to parties in mediation. I have extensive experience in parenting and financial matters and have been trained in mediation. Q: How would you describe your mediation style? A: My style of mediation is more directive. While mediation will focus on an interest-based negotiations and determining everyone’s main goals and interests, I expect most parties are looking for a cost effective solution and am prepared to provide more direction during mediation as needed.
Melissa Salfi, Vancouver Mediator
"Melissa at Crossroads Law receives a high recommendation from me. Melissa was professional, kind and empathetic to the struggles families face in high stress situations."
Q: Why did you decide to become a mediator? A: As a family lawyer, I have witnessed the devastating financial and emotional impact of litigation, including the uncertainty clients face when they go to court. I believe that in most cases, family law disputes should be resolved outside of the courtroom and litigation should be the last resort. Not only is litigation very expensive and stressful, but the process is also filled with delays, the outcome is unpredictable, and it often takes a big toll on the family and children. Instead of leaving the most important life decisions in the hands of a stranger, I believe that it’s important to empower parties to make their own decisions, which is why I became a mediator. Mediation puts the power back in the hands of the parties and the process is flexible, efficient, and cost effective. As a mediator, I am passionate about helping parties reach a mutually agreed upon resolution that allows them to move forward with their lives in a more peaceful manner.
Q: What skills and experience do you bring to your role as a mediator? A: To become an accredited mediator, I completed over 80 hours of approved mediation training, as well as a family violence screening course on how to identify and deal with family violence and power imbalances in mediation. I have also completed training in international dispute resolution. I have mediated disputes on a variety of issues ranging from pet ownership to parenting time and property division. As a certified collaborative lawyer, I have been trained to employ a holistic, non-adversarial approach and am experienced at working with parties and counsel as a team in an interest based manner.
Q: How would you describe your mediation style? A: I like to be flexible and customize my approach depending on the needs of the parties. I have mediated with the parties in the same room as well as done shuttle mediation. I can provide an evaluative approach where I provide an opinion of how a claim may proceed in court and clarify the state of the law, or we can focus on the parties’ interests and collaborate to find a solution that uniquely fits the parties at hand. I provide a warm, safe, and compassionate environment that allows the parties to relax, speak freely and be creative.
Ask a Family Lawyer | Mediation Part 1 Marcus Sixta, an accredited Mediator and 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.
Ask a Family Lawyer | Mediation Part 3 Mat Wirove , an accredited Family Law Mediator at Crossroads Law, discusses how mediation is cost-effective and less contentious as all parties work together to find a solution.
Contrary to perception, there are different models of mediation that can be used for your particular Family or Divorce action. Knowing the models available can likely help you decide what would be best for your unique situation.