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Every year, hundreds of Albertans get divorced without ever going to court.
It only makes sense. Why would anyone choose to spend tens of thousands of dollars in order to fight, in public? Especially when the only possible outcome is that they will be told what to do by a busy judge with little time and a full docket? (Calgary is still notoriously experiencing a shortage of judges.)
No surprise, then, that divorce mediation is increasingly the most popular, practical and cost-effective way to get a divorce in Alberta, especially in the Calgary region.
Our busy courtrooms are no place for families, separating or not, and divorce mediation is an out-of-court solution that gives the parties control over the process and the result.
This article explains what divorce mediation is, how it works, what it typically costs, and the FC&Z approach to resolving family law conflicts through mediation. But first, a little about us.
FC&Z Family Lawyers offers divorce mediation and family law mediation in Calgary and surrounding areas.
Our experienced mediators work with separating couples to craft a settlement that is practical, future-focused and legally sound. Divorce mediation with FC&Z is a solution-oriented, collaborative process designed to help each person move forward.
Divorce mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process outside of court that results in a binding separation agreement setting out the terms of your divorce. In a divorce mediation, a certified mediator (usually an experienced family lawyer) will meet with you and your former partner or spouse and develop a customized agreement that works for both of you.
For most separating couples, the divorce mediation process focuses on:
Divorce mediation involves negotiation and collaboration between the parties. It can be difficult for people to to talk to each other, let alone negotiate in good faith, in the aftermath of a separation.
That’s why mediation works. A divorce mediator can help overcome tensions and bad feeling that may stand in the way of a fair and reasonable solution.
A divorce mediator should also be an experienced lawyer capable of explaining how the law applies to each situation. Most couples are able to reach an agreement with the help of a mediator who can guide the process, minimize conflict and tension, and explain the law.
Divorce mediation is, quite simply, the most effective, affordable, and fastest solution for the vast majority of separating families.
By working together to reach an agreement with the help of the mediator, you can resolve your conflict without risking an imposed Order of the Court that may not work for either of you. You and your former partner or spouse will have a confidential, neutral area to voice concerns and expectations, which will allow the two of you to begin working together to reduce the conflict and focus on resolution.
Mediation can deliver results at substantially less cost and without the additional conflict and stress that often results from the adversarial and combative dynamics of the court system.
Here’s a short list of the top reasons to choose divorce mediation instead of court:
In the rare situation where mediation fails to result in an agreement, the process will still normally be worthwhile. Mediation should be able to resolve at least some of the outstanding issues and clarify what remains in dispute, leaving just one or two questions to be resolved by a judge.
This can save tens of thousands of dollars as compared to a trial in which all issues are contested.
Thousands of divorcing couples choose divorce mediation to minimize conflict, minimize cost, find practical solutions, and move forward. It works for straightforward amicable separations, and acrimonious, emotional splits. We have the experience to help make this process work for you.
Davidson Fraese divorce mediation is a flexible, collaborative process tailored to your needs. We offer lawyer-assisted (each party attends with their own lawyer) and lawyer-unassisted (neither party attends with a lawyer) mediation services. Our rates are flexible and we have flat-rate options available upon request.
Our Certified Mediators have decades of combined experience in family law and can assist parties through any family law issue they may have, from child and spousal support through to high-conflict parenting disputes and complex property distribution. We ensure each party understands the law as it applies to their situation, and work to identify practical solutions and a path forward.
Divorce mediation is an ideal process for separating couples who want a separation agreement without the time and expense associated with the traditional adversarial process and costly court appearances. Unlike a busy Queen’s Bench judge, our mediators can take as much time as needed to understand your family’s situation and will work with you to craft a solution appropriate to your specific circumstances.
If you are looking for a cost-effective, controlled, and efficient way to resolve disputes between you and your former spouse or partner, contact FC&Z Family Lawyers to discuss whether mediation is right for you.
Davidson Fraese has one of Western Canada’s largest divorce mediation practices. In the Calgary region, partners Heather Fraese and Heather Davidson are both Certified Mediators with extensive mediation experience.
Heather Fraese has practiced family law for more than 9 years, with a background in oil and gas law. Heather has extensive mediation experience including mobility, parenting arrangements (custody) as well as complex family business arrangements, property and support.
Brett Carlson has a background in psychology, making him a valuable mediator in high conflict parenting and support disputes and for lower income parties seeking lawyer-unassisted mediation services for a more cost-effective solution.
FC&Z Family Lawyers is a boutique family law firm in both Calgary and Vancouver, offering a full range of family law representation, from negotiation and mediation to court representation.