“I would hire you, but we are high conflict…”

My response to this stalemate is “why add fuel to the fire?” Most divorces are high conflict, hence the reason to separate. Interpersonal conflict triggers our fight or flight instincts which worked well for us when sabre tooth tigers where roaming the land, however, in non-life threatening situations that same instinct can mislead us. Before you lawyer up and begin bombarding each other with scathing and demanding letters, take a breath, step back, and ask yourself “do I want the future to be better than the past?”

If your response is “yes, I want to stop fighting and improve my life,” then do some research and consider your options. Have a look at Mediation, using lawyer AKA collaborative law and litigation. Informed people make better decisions.

Learn more here.

If your response is “no, I want to settle the score, make the other person pay or exact revenge,” I suggest you consider how much time (at least 18 months to several years) and money (at least ALL of your savings) you want to spend. In the end you will both receive 50% of the left-overs be that assets or debts.

The choice is yours.

Life is Messy. Mediation can Help. Contact me to discuss your options.

Why is Mediation cheaper?

My fee is shared between the clients. Proportional to income is the most common method. By sharing the costs between all clients, Meditation becomes extremely cost effective. 

For example, to determine each client’s proportion of the fees we calculate their individual proportion of the total income. If person ‘A’ has an income of $40,000 per year and person ‘B’ has an income of $60,000 per year the total income is $100,000.

To calculate what person ‘A’ will be responsible for we do the following: ($40,000 / $100,000) * 100 = 40%

To calculate what person ‘B’ will be responsible for we do the following: ($60,000 / $100,000) * 100 = 60%

Ultimately the clients decide how to share the costs between them.

Life is Messy. Mediation can Help. Contact me to discuss your options.

How long does mediation take?

If people are prepared to listen, negotiate in good faith and have their documentation in order – I have mediated settlements in six (6) weeks start to finish. The total number of hours spent in mediation sessions are about six (6) to eight (8) hours OR about an hour and a half per week. Most delays result from waiting for documentation to be prepared.

Life is Messy. Mediation can Help. Contact me to discuss your options.

Are you a counsellor?

No. A counsellor is a trained professional who is able to assist you and your family during times of transition involving difficult issues. Often, mental health is lower on the priority list when dealing with conflict. I recommend you review your benefits package and contact a local counsellor to discuss their services. Most Employee Assistance Plans (EAP) or Employee Health Benefit packages have an allocation for counselling and Mental Health. The more resources you have, the better off you will be. Counsellors are able to discuss your situation and provide advice and techniques you and your family can employ to work though your situation.

Life is Messy.

Mediation can Help.

Contact me to discuss your options.

What do I do with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?

There are two ways to submit the MOU to the courts to make a legally binding agreement:

1. Submit the forms directly to the court by filling out the required court forms yourself; or

2. Request a lawyer to draft and submit the court forms for you (I recommend this option).

NOTE: Fees may apply in both cases.

Life is Messy. Mediation can Help.

Contact me to discuss your options.

Do I need a legal agreement?

If you want your terms to be enforceable and legally binding – Yes. I always recommend everyone seek independent legal advice to ensure complete understanding of legal rights and responsibilities before starting mediation. Remember, you can always make changes to an agreement after it is signed. Nothing is carved in stone.

Life is Messy. Mediation can Help.

Contact me to discuss your options.

Do you write Separation Agreements?

Only lawyers can write legal agreements. As a Mediator, I write a Memorandum of Understanding or MOU for short. The MOU is a written summery of all topics covered during the mediation process. There are two ways to submit the MOU to the courts to make a legally binding agreement:

1. Submit the forms directly to the court by filling out the required court forms yourself; or

2. Request a lawyer to draft and submit the court forms for you (I recommend this option).

NOTE: Fees may apply in both cases.

Life is Messy. Mediation can Help.

Contact me to discuss your options.

When can we start mediation?

You can start mediation at any time up to the date of trial (if you are moving in that direction). You can start and end the conflict resolution process with mediation, use mediation to overcome a stalemate during litigation or collaborative law proceedings. If you have left this on the back burner for some time and want to “just work it out and move on,” you can start mediation.

Life is Messy. Mediation can Help.

Contact me to discuss your options.

We have been separated for years, can you help us finalise this?

Yes. Usually there is a change which triggers this need, purchasing a property which requires a legal separation agreement containing term about support payments, a marriage proposal as we can only be legally married to one person at at time or another important reason. I can help you to finalise your terms.

Life is Messy. Mediation can Help.

Contact me to discuss your options.