Mediation is a process in which you and your spouse can resolve the issues that have arisen as a result of your separation. It is more cost effective and will take less time than the court process or traditional lawyer negotiation. You can have your lawyer attend with you or you can attend on your own and consult your lawyer when you need to do so. The court process is adversarial, aggressive and expensive. Especially if there are children involved, mediation is a better option for your family. You will want to be have a civil, if not amicable, relationship with your spouse going forward.
The mediator is a neutral third party that helps you and your spouse identify your needs and concerns. The issues may include parenting, child and spousal support and property issues. . The mediator assists you in creating an agreement. The mediator does not represent either you or your spouse. They give out legal information not legal advice. You will both be strongly encouraged to get legal advice from your own lawyer.
Mediation is a voluntary process. You and your spouse would both have to commit to using the process. Both people have to negotiate in good faith and provide complete disclosure of all relevant information. The goal of the process is to resolve all of your issues. You would then be able to have a separation agreement prepared.
The collaborative process is an alternative way to resolve your issues. Each spouse has their own lawyer throughout this process. Both parties and their lawyers sign a Participation Agreement. That agreement states that nobody is going to go to court. So people can discuss and resolve their issues without the threat of going to court.
A team approach is used in the collaborative process. This involves both spouses and their lawyers. It may also include other people such as a family professional, a financial professional or a real estate professional. It depends on the issues in your case. The Team works together to create an agreement that resolves your issues. You are very involved in this process as opposed to court where lawyers run the show and clients are often spectators.
For more information on the collaborative process go to Best4All.ca