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Consider mediation for a civilized divorce in BC

Many people go into a divorce with bitter feelings, and that is entirely understandable. One spouse may feel animosity toward the other, or possibly anger and resentment. However, it may still be preferable to take a more civilized approach during the divorce than doing battle in court. Mediation allows both parties to work out their settlement issues in a non-confrontational setting. The following story provides an example -- albeit an extreme one -- of what malicious litigation can do to some people.

A man and woman in British Columbia divorced several years ago. The pair had two daughters, and the mother was awarded child support. Around that time, the man's business began to fall apart, and he eventually went bankrupt. Although he tried to make support payments, they weren't always enough, and while he begged the court to reduce the amount, his wife demanded he pay up, and she requested a $10,000 fine for contempt of court. She also accused him of assault -- a crime for which he was arrested but of which he was acquitted. 

According to his wife (he remarried in 2015), he was on the hook for $8,000 a month in support payments for his daughters by his ex-wife, and a son he had with an ex-fiancée. He had also paid about $330,000 in legal fees, spent time in jail for non-payment, was alienated from his children, had been locked out of his bank accounts, and was in danger of losing his driver's licence and passport. Unable to cope any longer, he took his own life in March 2017.

Most family law cases do not go as badly as this one, but it illustrates what can happen when there is no dialogue during a divorce. A divorcing couple that chooses mediation in British Columbia has the opportunity to talk about their situations and can work alongside their legal representative to find solutions together. A lawyer who understands the hardships of divorce will work with his or her client every step of the way.

Source: National Post, "B.C. man pleads for family court reform in suicide note", Christie Blatchford, March 28, 2017

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