For couples looking to end their relationship, a mediator provides a reliable and cooperative way of getting the process done. Can a mediator write a separation agreement? Yes, they can.
What is the role of a mediator?
A mediator provides guidance and support to a couple by walking them through any issues they may have during the separation process. The mediator is an impartial third party that helps both spouses come to a compromise.
Why have a separation agreement?
When it comes to divorce finalization, couples will need a separation agreement. This agreement covers asset divisions, child support, debt sharing, and much more. The couple can write their own contracts, but they will need to take their contracts to their lawyers and get the proper counsel before signing. With a mediator, the entire process will be quicker and more effective, and it will be much cheaper than going to court. So, if you want to save some money, a mediator is a great way to get things done.
This option also provides more control over how everything will be handled. Courts make all the decisions if you leave your fate in their hands, but with a separation agreement and mediation, things are under your control.
The entire separation agreement process will also make things more cordial between you and your spouse. It facilitates open communication, and it takes care of all the disagreements that could otherwise occur. You get to calmly work with your spouse and come to a proper understanding.
Lastly, the separation agreement will minimize the strain on your kids while providing them with a proper example of how to resolve issues. Whenever you’re ready to begin with the process, there will be a mediator to help ease your stress and improve amicability.
Separation is an emotional and challenging journey. As an experienced Mediator and Accredited Divorce Financial Analyst (ADFA), I’m here to guide you through this complex process. With over 12 years of experience writing separation agreements as a mediator, I’ve developed a unique approach to help couples navigate this transition most amicably and fairly as possible.
I utilize the Soft Landing Settlement Method, a comprehensive and thoughtful approach designed to minimize stress and conflict during the separation process. This method enables both parties to reach a resolution that respects their individual needs and promotes mutual understanding. The goal is to help you land softly in your new circumstances, setting the stage for a positive, forward-looking future.
Take the first step towards this new phase of your life by scheduling a Get Acquainted Call with me today. During our call, we can discuss your specific situation and explore how my services, including the Soft Landing Settlement Method, can provide the support you need during this critical time.
Ready to start your journey toward a Soft Landing? Click the button below to schedule your Get Acquainted Call now.
10 Reasons to Seek Mediation and Financial Guidance First in Divorce
In the throes of a divorce or separation, it’s tempting to seek legal advice immediately – after all, isn’t that what we’re taught to do? However, while legal guidance is crucial, it isn’t necessarily the best first step. Separation and divorce proceedings are about 90% about finances and children rather than purely legal matters. Today, let’s debunk this misconception and explore why it might be better to collaborate with a mediator and ADFA before reaching out to a lawyer.
Timing is Everything
Like in life, timing is everything when it comes to hiring a divorce lawyer. Knowing when to seek legal counsel during a divorce or separation is crucial to achieving the best possible outcome. Here are some key considerations to determine the right time to hire a divorce lawyer:
Control the Process: Working with a mediator and ADFA, you and your spouse maintain control over the process, making decisions collaboratively instead of dictating them by attorneys or the court.
Financial Clarity: A ADFA brings financial expertise to your case, helping you understand financial decisions’ short- and long-term implications.
Comprehensive Disclosure: These professionals guide you in gathering necessary disclosure documents, ensuring no financial stones are left unturned before consulting a lawyer.
Focused Negotiations: Mediators help parties stay focused on their real intentions and the main issues, preventing distractions from the path of resolution.
Cost-Effective: Mediation and financial analysis can often be more cost-effective than immediately “lawyering up” while offering comprehensive guidance.
Reduced Animosity: Opting for mediation first may reduce the antagonism between parties. The traditional “lawyering up” approach can create an adversarial atmosphere that fuels hostility.
Holistic Approach: Mediators and ADFAs consider monetary and non-monetary aspects, such as children’s welfare, providing a more holistic view of your situation.
Informed Legal Decisions: A solid understanding of your finances and intentions empowers you to make more informed decisions when seeking legal advice.
Protection of Rights: The modern family law system ensures your rights are protected – consulting a mediator or ADFA first doesn’t negate this protection.
Better for Children: Focusing on finances and children first helps create a more stable environment during this transition, which is often better for children.
Remember, the goal is to make your divorce or separation as smooth as possible for all involved. Therefore, starting with a mediator and ADFA might not be the traditional route. Still, it could be right for you, providing clarity, control, and a comprehensive view of your situation before you step into a lawyer’s office. As always, every situation is unique, so consider your options carefully and seek the best approach for your family.
What will your separation agreement cost?
What will your separation agreement cost?
since you’re here…
Do you value fair costs, compressed timelines, your well-being and a favourable outcome?
If you have children, are approaching retirement, or simply in the primary pursuits of life, no matter what your station in life, separation and divorce often presents some unique challenges. That said reaching a settlement should not break you financially or break your family. Like life, Separation and divorce also have their stages. The early decisions you make and the path you take are directly connected to the quality of your outcome.
The path you take
Let’s hear from Divorce Industry insiders about lawyers and litigation.
“Entering the litigation process forces people to take an adversarial stance because that’s the way the system is designed.”
“Because a court can only do so many things, the answers are impeaching us already. Has to be custody, has to be access, has to be amount of support, has to be division of assets, in a way that the law stipulates. So they’re very bounded by the results because a court can only order so many things.”
“Lawyers unfortunately because that’s their job, tend to reinforce that [adversarial stance]. When you have people who are hurt, who are in crises, who are afraid, who are worried, and they see it as a war. And that’s really dreadful for kids”
June Maresca – Family Court Judge
“The process requires people to bring out the worst in each other. My ex-husband is like this and like that, all the most horrible things. My ex-wife is like this and like that, it brings out the worst in people. So the other party reading that gets their back up and retaliates.”
“She said I knew that our marriage was broken, but after the litigation our family was broken. And it just, it broke my heart.”
Toni Pietrantoni – Family Law Lawyer
“Once you thrown mud at somebody and they throw mud back at you, it typically gets to the point where the hate level does not decrease, the hate level increases.”
“When I see litigation, it’s based on a binary system. You either win or you lose, or on an issue, you’re right or you’re wrong.”
Richard Bennett – Family Law Lawyer
“And at one point my mom said well you have to choose who you’re going to live with, me or your dad. And I couldn’t study for about a good two months and we had finals coming up, so it was difficult.”
Child of Divorce
“The time has come for a fresh conceptual approach to resolution of family disputes in Ontario”
“The empirical evidence shows that it isn’t necessarily the separation and the divorcing of parents that creates the psychological and emotional damage in children, it is the conflict that happens afterwards.”
Julia Haasz – Family Law Lawyer
“The litigation process is expensive, time-consuming, and it’s not going to have the effect people think it’s going to have.”
Francine E. Van Melle – Family Court Judge
What about Self-Representation?
The family court system has seen a terrific increase in the number of self-represented litigants (self-reps, or SRLs) over the past few years. But what does it mean to be a self-rep? Judges and lawyers, as well as the system itself, are all struggling to understand who how to better accommodate self-reps in a system built upon the expectation of both parties having lawyers to act for them.
The National Self-represented Litigants Project revealed some disturbing figures. Over a period of 4 years and 3 months ending April 6, 2016, in Ontario Superior Court cases where there was one self-rep and one represented client, the self-rep won only 14% of the time and lost 73% of the time. (The remainder resulted in no orders or split orders.) While there are many explanations for this, it’s clear that a person without any legal help or assistance is facing an uneven playing field.
The resolution value ladder
The further down the resolution value ladder you start, the higher cost go, and the longer timelines extend. Bypass low-value processes and start with the high-value mediation process. Whether you have a settlement in mind and just need a separation agreement prepared or need assistance reaching a settlement, contain costs and conflict by working with a neutral third-party – mediator.
Learn more about Soft Landing Divorce Settlement Method
“Research tells us the greater the degree to which the parents own the outcome, the greater the likelihood they will actually follow through, and that reduces the conflict.”
“People are like snowflakes, families are like snowflakes. No two are the same. And so the benefit of a collaborative process, there is no rubber stamp, there is no template that anyone has to fit in to”
Gary Direnfeld Social Worker MSW, RSW
About the Author:
Ken Maynard ADFA, Acc.FM
I assist intelligent and successful couples in crafting clear and straightforward separation agreements, ensuring a smooth transition towards a secure future. This is achieved in four meetings or less, sidestepping the excessive conflicts, confusion, and costs often associated with legal proceedings. You have the option to collaborate with me via video conference or in-person with a DTSW associate at any of our six Greater Toronto mediation centers, located in Aurora, Barrie, North York, Vaughan, Mississauga, and Scarborough.