Collaborative Mediation: A less expensive choice that may work for you and your ex

Here at Connect Family Law, we are committed to providing clients with a variety of settlement-based options for navigating separation and divorce. We also understand that cost can be a significant barrier to retaining legal counsel.

One cost-effective option for you and your spouse is Collaborative Mediation. If you are both committed to staying out of court and avoiding high financial and emotional cost, consider jointly retaining a mediator, a neutral third party committed to guiding you towards resolution. At Connect Family Law, I work as a certified family mediator in our Vancouver and Surrey offices, and Amalia Schön works as a lawyer and mediator out of our North Vancouver office.

The cost of Amalia or myself as a mediator is shared between the two of you, making the process much cheaper than it would be if each of you retained your own lawyer in the traditional sense.

The process is also more streamlined, focusing on the issues relevant to you, such as parenting, support and division of assets. Meetings take place at our office, which provides a neutral, safe and respectful environment.

Once an agreement is reached, the mediator, whether it is Amalia, myself or another mediator you choose (only lawyer-mediators can do this), will draft a separation agreement formalizing what you have agreed upon. During the process leading up to the agreement, we can provide legal information – such as what the law is – but we can not provide legal advice to either party. Therefore, at the end of the process, we would ask you and your spouse to each retain a collaborative lawyer on a limited basis to simply review the agreement with you. We would also recommend retaining legal counsel during the process if a difficult issue arises during the mediation in which legal advice is needed.

Once the collaborative lawyers are retained for the purposes of providing independent legal advice, all parties involved will sign an agreement agreeing not to commence legal proceedings and committing to full financial disclosure, so both parties have the assurance and incentive to remain in the process and negotiate in good faith. This means you and your spouse are making the decisions for your family with the assistance of professionals committed to a non-adversarial approach.

If you would like to find out whether the option of Collaborative Mediation fits well for you, please contact me. I’d be happy to discuss the option with you.

At Connect Family Law, we are committed to assisting clients by connecting them with a broad community of experts and peers and offering them a choice in how their legal issues are resolved. By investing more humanity into our clients’ experience, we empower them to move forward.  If you would like more information, please contact us.

About Rebecca Stanley

Lawyer/Mediator – Fraser Valley/Vancouver

The focus of my practice is to empower people as they navigate the unique stresses (and opportunities) that accompany significant life transitions. My clients have said that my calm, strength and wisdom provide a solid anchor in the sometimes stormy seas of separation and divorce. I feel fortunate to be part of the Connect team, a collective of legal professionals and staff who understand that it is a privilege to support families through times of challenge and transformation.