By choosing mediation, you and your ex will make decisions and reach agreements together.
If you are looking to “lawyer up” for your separation or divorce and “war it out in court” because you're seeking power, victory or vindication, I’m not the right person to help you and mediation won’t meet your needs.
In fact, I doubt that any of those needs can actually be met during an expensive courtroom separation or divorce. Courts often leave clients feeling confused, disillusioned and powerless.
Too much money. Too little effective communication. Too much time. Too restricted of a process. Too many unanswered questions. Too unresponsive. Too cold. Too little. Too late.
I was a courtroom lawyer for over ten years.
I represented family law clients in court where I watched people: blame, become insomniacs, start smoking, stop exercising, gain weight, lose their will to eat and start clinging to anger and resentment like a lifeline.
Raising children is hard enough especially during times of separation or divorce. Add the overwhelming stress of a courtroom and it's easy to exceed what you feel you can cope with.
I refuse to be a part of that anymore. And so should you.
I believe in my new model of helping clients so much that I retired from practicing law in order to pursue it fully.
If you are interested in prioritizing your family, preserving your financial resources and retaining as much control as possible, as you make some of the most intimate and personal decisions of your life, then you should keep reading.
What mediation is and is not...
As your mediator, I am not either party’s lawyer at any stage of the process. I will not give you legal advice. I won’t take sides and I won't make the decisions for you.
I will, however, provide you with over 15 years of combined social work, mediation and legal knowledge and skill. I'll educate you about family law terminology and process. I'll facilitate discussions about relevant issues to your separation or divorce and support both of you to create enlightened options so you and your children can create a positive path forward.
During our joint mediation sessions, under the guidance of a retired courtroom lawyer who is fluent in the language of family law, you will make decisions and forge agreements for you and your children based on the options you have generated together. Once those decisions and agreements have been made, I will create a document that can act as binding agreement*.
*In some instances, such as where the division of family property is concerned, the applicable laws of Saskatchewan require each client to take the agreement they have created to separate lawyers for independent legal advice, or “ILA”. If you have such an agreement, I will ensure that you are referred in a timely manner to a trusted resource for this service.
I know what you're likely thinking...
Fair question. This isn’t going to be easy. Choosing to take responsibility for your own decisions about your separation or divorce outside of a courtroom is tough.
You have to show up. You have to be ready to talk. You have to be ready to listen. You have to be willing to make compromises. You have to choose to make the best of things for you and your children out of a difficult situation. You have to commit to the process and accept the consequences of your decisions. You have to take responsibility for figuring this out.
The alternative—going to court—is uglier than the discomfort you are currently feeling.
And don’t get me wrong. I am not so naive as to believe that courtrooms and lawyers serve no purpose at all—quite the contrary. I know that mediation is not appropriate for every single family law case. What mediation can do for you in many situations, though, is reduce the amount of issues you truly disagree about to make sure only those narrow issues go further if necessary.
I believe that court should be the exception that families use during their separation and divorce, not the rule.
Here is what you can expect during our mediation sessions:
- Initial individual session(s) with each of you to explore how you want your separation story to sound and how it sounds right now including education about the difference between your ‘positions’ and your ‘interests.'
Mutual mediation sessions built on an educated foundation of legal terminology and process where we jointly identify the separation or divorce issues to be addressed. Depending on the extent of matters to be addressed, clients often participate in 4-6 mutual mediation sessions to reach agreements on their identified issues.
A respectful environment lead by an informed professional that has the capacity to guide and support you in reaching agreements for you and your children that can become legally enforceable.
Thoughtful and insightful support to help you integrate the agreements made during mediation into your daily lives.
Reassurance that you have received affordable, accountable and reliable education and support from a mediation process that levels the playing field for both parties at a difficult time of crisis.