When Alberta couples decide to end their marriages, there are often many issues to resolve. This can include custody, spousal support and asset distribution. For many families, divorce mediation is the most constructive and cost-effective option. But how does this really work in practice?
Typically, divorce mediators are lawyers who also have mediation training. This means they can help both with negotiating an agreement and manage many of the legal complexities involved in the process. Couples can also have their own lawyers attend the mediation if they choose, but should refrain from involving family or friends.
Preparation can make a big difference in the success of a mediation. Both parties should have a concrete understanding of the assets involved, their legal rights and what is most important to them. Documents such as recent tax returns and a list of assets and debts can also help to keep the conversation accurate and focused.
There are many benefits of divorce mediation compared to Alberta family court. It is often less expensive than going through courts. Couples will typically split the cost for the mediator and pay individually for their independent legal counsel. It also is a much less time-consuming route and does not require either party to wait for a court date.
Couples who opt for divorce mediation in the beginning are not committed to follow through if a resolution cannot be reached. These are voluntary processes and either participant can opt out if it's not working. Finding a family lawyer in Alberta with mediation credentials is a good first step for anyone considering this option.