Sabrina Yeudall is an accredited family mediator who has completed more than eighty hours of training as a mediator in addition to her experience as a family lawyer. Mediation allows the parties to tailor an agreement to their specific needs and circumstances, and to maintain control over their lives instead of asking a judge to decide.
In mediation for divorce or separation, the parties hire a mediator who meets with them and helps facilitate the development of a separation agreement. A successful mediation will produce a draft agreement which each party can then obtain independent legal advice on prior to signing the agreement.
In some cases, parties are able to resolve all of their issues through mediation. In others, parties can resolve a number of issues through mediation, leaving only one or two issues to be resolved by an arbitrator or by the court. Resolving as many issues as possible through mediation can significantly reduce legal costs and reduce conflict between the parties.
Should you already have a mediator or be seeking an advocate to assist you, we can also provide independent legal advice on any agreement that results from a successful mediation. If you are considering mediation and seek assistance at the beginning and the end of this process, contact us to determine what assistance we can offer.
For more information on family law mediation or our family law services, we welcome you to contact Candid for a consultation. Based in Nanaimo, we work with clients throughout Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
Some great reasons to Mediate:
1. Avoid nasty court battles
We have all heard horror stories of family litigation gone bad – those cases that drag on for years, get hostile, and cost tens of thousands of dollars. Don’t be a statistic – don’t even start along a path which requires each side to hire their own adversarial advocate to fight out an agreement. That is the old way – and it is expensive, exhausting, and ineffective.
Mediation with a lawyer mediator with close to ten years of courtroom experience enables you to learn about what a court process might look like and the remedies it might provide – while keeping yourself out of that process and instead using that information to reach an amicable, or at least acceptable, agreement on how to deal with the various issues that arise at the end of your relationship.
2. Be clear about the costs
The fixed fee separation agreement process is designed to permit the parties to each attend an individual meeting with the mediator, and then participate in a mediation of up to five hours in duration (additional hours available at a reduced hourly fee of $200 if they are required) with the goal of walking out the door with a Separation Agreement. Parties can take this agreement to independent lawyers for additional advice, but this is not necessary. If they wish, everything can be resolved in that one session and the agreement filed with the court to become a binding, enforceable agreement.
At a fixed fee of $2,500, inclusive of taxes and disbursements, this process is far less expensive than each party hiring their own counsel to negotiation on their behalf, and far far less expensive that proceeding to court. The fixed fee also includes a number or preparation workshops and instructions on any next steps once you have that agreement. If you mediate with us and reach an agreement, we will offer an additional fixed fee desk order divorced to enable you to obtain the court order you need to divorce.
3. It’s ok to disagree
You do not need to be in agreement on everything to use this process – the mediator has hundreds of hours in training and experience to facilitate reaching agreement. This training includes training in conflict resolution, family violence, human sexuality, the impacts of separation and divorce on children, family systems, projection and transference, and communication models for use in conflict scenarios.
4. Craft detailed, individual solutions specific to your family and its needs
Court battles rarely provide refined results, After hours, days, or even weeks at court, the result can be a court order which determines your life and your finances in very broad strokes with little room for nuance.
In the worst cases, additional thousands of dollars and years of time are spent trying to determine those nuances in additional court battles. Don’t get caught up in this destructive process.
5. Express yourself
Mediation provides a forum for you too express what you need to express – that what is important to you. Court does not – in that forum, the judges and the case law decide what is “relevant” and parties are often prevented from speaking outside of those narrow boxes. This is often an exceedingly frustrating process and does not help you resolve lingering conflicts with your ex-partner – and this can then show up as simmering issues when co-parenting. Mediation is a far preferable process to get to the “root” of enduring issues and clean the air to clean up the relationship going forward.
6. Control your outcomes
When parties attend court, there is always a degree of uncertainty. This is because you are essentially asking a stranger (the judge) who may very well have a very different social economic, cultural, or educational background that you (and thus totally different values and beliefs) to make decisions on your financial future and your children. Any time a judge is to exercise their discretion – which is frequently in family law cases – they are making judgements necessarily influenced by their values and beliefs – not necessarily your values and beliefs. In mediation, you retain your autonomy – you have to compromise with your ex-partner to reach agreement, but you are still in control as to what you do or do not agree to – you don’t hand over that control to a stranger.