In our last post we wrote about the way in which couples who are divorcing, or ending their common-law relationship, might use the collaborative process to help sort out the various issues that need to be addressed. That is not the only way that these matters can be addressed without going to court. Family Law Mediation is another option that couples who are looking for a civil resolution, and are willing to work together, might pursue.
When a couple decides to use mediation to resolve their matter there are multiple people who could be involved in addition to the mediating parties and the mediator. Whether other individuals will be beneficial depends on the matters being addressed at the mediation.
In some cases is it beneficial for a party to have a lawyer there to help them navigate the mediation process. This may be particularly true if there is a big difference in knowledge or power between the two, or when a lawsuit has already been filed. Other factors that might prompt someone mediating family law matters to hire a lawyer include when the stakes of the matter being mediated are high or the other party has hired a lawyer to represent them.
Even if a lawyer is not physically present for the mediation, consulting with one prior to a session, as well as afterward, to help determine whether a proposed settlement makes sense, is almost always a good idea.
There are multiple reasons why this approach could be appealing to parties seeking to end their relationship. One is that it provides the parties involved a sense of control over the process. Second, unlike disputes that are hashed out in court, in mediation, the matter is kept private. The process generally also preserves relationships between the seperating spouses, which is beneficial when there are children involved.
The senior family lawyers at Peterson Stark Scott are all also accredited by the Law Society of BC as Family Law Mediators and have extensive experience acting as lawyers for parties in mediation. In addition, they sometimes work as family law mediators so they understand how to best work with their family law clients. For futher information contace Peterson Stark Scott's family law group.