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?
Money issues. They often don't leave a couple alone even after they've divorced, especially if they have children. But many problems surrounding a divorcing couple's finances may be ironed out using the divorce mediation process. There are ways in Canada to solve contentious issues during divorce, and mediation is one of them.
While no couple begins their marriage anticipating divorce, a relationship can deteriorate for any number of reasons. With sensationalized stories about feuding celebrity couples dominating the headlines and cautionary tales regarding acrimonious divorces, you'd be forgiven for thinking that parting ways with a partner is a surefire way to end up miserable.
The final decision on how you divide your assets and child custody matters do not always have to determined by a judge. Alternative dispute resolutions (ADR) are encouraged amongst separating couples because it’s more likely they will abide by a decision they had a hand in creating.
Divorce comes with baggage. And that baggage needs to be unpacked, and often the way of doing that in Canada is through divorce mediation. The answers to issues usually aren't found in one or two mediation sessions, but through a series of them where the couple comes to the table with the goal of ironing out their differences, especially when it comes to their children.
Splitting in splendour. It seems these days divorce mediation is helping couples who are breaking up to do it with less anxiety, anger and stress. Indeed, some divorce situations in Canada appear not only to be amicable, but joyful, with the former couple remaining friends. These scenarios are becoming increasingly more prevalent and are especially healthy for any children involved.
A contentious issue in a recent divorce case concerned who would get season tickets to the Edmonton Oilers. It took divorce mediation to help the Alberta couple sort out the situation. In the end, a judge ruled the couple should share the tickets, but wouldn't have to sit together. The pair had been married 35 years and both are die-hard NHL fans.
There is no getting around it. Divorce is hard -- hard on the couple, and hard on any children they have. So, it's especially important during divorce mediation for divorcing or separating Alberta parents to have a parenting plan in place regarding younger children, in order to make a difficult situation much less stressful. There are a few things to take into consideration when fashioning a parenting plan checklist.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding an Alberta couple's divorce, and how amicable is, it will always be a stressful and emotional process. This applies in particular if they do it through the court, where the judge will end up making important decisions that will affect the post-divorce lives of all concerned parties. Alternative dispute resolution might be worth exploring. Options such as divorce mediation or collaboration allows couples to negotiate their own settlements that would protect their interests and be workable and fair, both now and in the long term.
Men and women in Alberta and across Canada are choosing non-confrontational solutions to their divorce and family law issues now more than ever. Divorce mediation and/or arbitration is now one of the most popular options for people to resolve disputes arising from the break-down of married and common-law relationships. However, many people probably know little about the field of mediation/arbitaration, and may be unsure how to choose a mediator/arbitrator.