Kitchen Table Divorce – Chapter 11 – Got Mediation?
Readers of my blog will know that as a qualified family law mediator myself, I often refer to mediation as an alternative to traditional methods of resolving disputes, particularly court related proceedings.
But for those of my readers who are considering mediation for the first time, I wanted to share some thoughts.
Firstly, before deciding on any course of action, I strongly recommend that you obtain independent legal advice. Don’t simply sign an agreement or a piece of paper that your ex puts on the table, and certainly not on the basis that “we don’t need lawyers”. As I’ve previously written, those comments are typically made by someone who has already obtained legal advice, and is trying to take advantage of your lack of knowledge to obtain an unfair advantage.
Secondly, there is a matter of financial disclosure. Fairness is based on disclosure, without disclosure there is little possibility of a fair and equitable settlement. Resist the urge to simply agree to settle without such disclosure. Of course, you are free and able to give up your rights to something, but not before you know what you are actually giving up.
Thirdly, following disclosure is the time to attempt to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement, including parenting times (if applicable). If and when disagreements, difficulties, and obstacles arise in reaching a settlement, is an ideal time to retain a mutually agreed family law mediator. With the help of a skilled and experienced mediator, your chance of avoiding costly and stressful court proceedings is extremely high. If you’re looking for more information about mediation or the names of qualified family law mediators, call me.
It may be one of the best decisions you will ever make.
Call me, Scott Taylor at 604.534.6361