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May 2014 Archives

Family mediation: starting the divorce off on the right foot

Fans of Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay's have likely heard that Paltrow and Coldplay's lead singer, Chris Martin, have ended their marriage. Even those in Calgary who aren't fans may have heard about Paltrow's reference to "conscious uncoupling." While she received some flack for what seemed to be a pretentious way of describing her amicable divorce, she called attention to a practice that has been gaining significant traction: family mediation.

Family mediation can help couples get better settlements

One of the reasons people in Alberta hear such negative things about the divorce courts is because many people who go through the typical divorce or separation process are unhappy with the orders or judgments issued by the Courts. Whether they think they should get a larger portion of property, more time with the children, a lower child support order or spousal support, dissatisfaction with one's family law settlement can build to years of resentment. It can also cause significant problems for the individuals caught between the two feuding ex-spouses: children and mutual friends.

Is equal shared parenting in children's best interests?

When parents in Calgary divorce, they not only have to divide up their marital estate, but they must also divide their children's time between them. Only in rare cases is one parent granted total custody over a child. More often than not, children will split their time between both parents. What percentage they spend with one parent or the other, however, is up to their parents' arrangement or, if the parents can't agree, what the judge determines to be in the children's best interests.

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