Edmonton Divorce Lawyers Discuss Why You Should Consider Mediation
If you are going through separation or divorce and considering litigation to resolve your family law issues, you may wish to
consider mediation as an alternative to going to court. Mediation is almost always less expensive and faster than litigation, and it also offers a host of
other potential benefits. The seasoned divorce lawyers at Gunn Law Group in Edmonton, Alberta prepared this article to explain the mediation process and highlight the advantages of using mediation to resolve family law disputes.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a way of helping people resolve issues relatingseparation or divorce, including:
- Custody, access and parenting
- Child support
- Spousa support (alimony)support (alimony)
- Division of assets
The mediation process involves you and the other party to the family dispute sitting down with a specially trained mediator with the goal
of reaching a mutually agreeable resolution of the issues. The mediator, who is neutral third party, helps the parties identify issues and engage in effective
communication that focused on those issues. If you are looking for a mediator, contact Rebecca, Shannon or Carmen, our seasoned separation and divorce lawyers and trained mediators who understand that sometimes your best option is keeping the matter out of court. Having seen the benefits of mediation first-hand, our lawyers are firm believers that, with the right guidance, most disputes can be solved efficiently and respectfully through mediation.
Do I need a lawyer for mediation?
Parties can attend mediation with or without lawyers. However, most mediators require the parties to at least seek legal advice before the mediation begins. It is very important for you to know your legal rights and obligations and how family law applies to your issues, but a mediator cannot give legal advice or offer his or her opinions on the legal issues. In addition, it is highly recommended that each party to the mediation review the mediated agreement with a lawyer before signing. If you need legal advice prior to attending mediation, want an experienced family lawyer to attend mediation with you, or wish to have a mediated agreement reviewed to ensure it protects your legal rights, contact our team of experienced separation and divorce lawyers in Edmonton, Alberta.
What happens after mediation?
When mediation is successful, it results in the parties entering a legally binding contract outlining the agreed terms. If mediation does not result in an agreement, or results in an agreement on some but not all of the issues, either party is free to pursue other options after the mediation, such as litigation or another form of alternative dispute resolution, such as collaborative divorce.
What are the advantages of mediation?
Through our years of experience, the separation and divorce lawyers at Gunn Law Group have seen the benefits of mediation firsthand. Here are some of the key advantages of using a trained family mediator to resolve family law disputes by way of mediation:
- Mediation can be used at any stage. The parties can try mediation before starting a court case or at any time after litigation has been started.
- It is private and confidential, unlike the court process.
- It is non-binding until an agreement is reached. Because mediation is optional and voluntary, it is open to the parties to leave at any time.
- It allows the parties to control the process and come to their own customized solution instead of leaving the ultimate decision to a judge. Parties often express great satisfaction with having been able to decide the issues for themselves by way of a mediated agreement.
- Mediation is almost always faster and less expensive than going to court to settle family law issues.
- Because the mediator facilitates the discussion and keeps the parties focused on the issues, the mediation process may help reduce future conflict by improving the parties' communication and strengthening the parties’ ability to work on problems together.
- Where the parties have been able to resolve most issues on their own through direct negotiation, but there are a few “sticking points,” mediation offers an effective way of resolving those last issues that the parties cannot agree on.