By the time some couples have firmly decided to dissolve their marriages, they are often already emotionally exhausted. Still, they recognize that divorce, like marriage, involves a legal process which must be formalized in and by the family courts. In Alberta, mediation is an option that encourages a spirit of collaboration towards re-configuring a new and affirming path forward for each party.
As an alternative to the extensive court time associated with traditional divorce proceedings, mediation occurs largely outside the court room under the neutral guidance of a mediator. The mediator, who ideally is also an experienced family law lawyer, helps identify the issues and concerns on each side and facilitates discussion in a discreet and secure exchange. Even when concluded, matters of concern remain confidential, which can be so important to one or both partners intent on safeguarding their privacy.
While discord is sometimes challenging to overcome, mediation can be a resource that not only diminishes conflict but helps build consensus through clear communication. Importantly, the mediator leaves meeting scheduling and timelines in the hands of the couple, together or individually. This lends a sense of control during a transition which is universally viewed as life altering.
The value of mediation lies in resolving issues in a conciliatory rather than adversarial way. A mediator may also recommend the input of a third-party expert, such as for accounting or property appraisal purposes. Alberta couples seeking an amicable divorce with a minimum of court time might consider mediation as a wholesome and rewarding alternative to the stresses associated with traditional divorce proceedings.
Source: lawforalbertawomen.ca, "Dispute Resolution", Accessed on Nov. 27, 2017