Divorcing? Consider Mediation As A Viable Option

While mediation is not for every couple, many soon-to-be ex-spouses are capable of hashing out their custody arrangements and other matters. They realize that protracted court battles do more harm than good and cause high legal bills to be run up on both sides. That’s money that instead could be invested in their separate futures apart from one another.

Are there some couples for whom mediation is just not possible? Of course. Any time there are allegations of domestic abuse, mediation is not a good option. Neither is it when highly volatile couples have too much acrimony between them to reasonably discuss important matters.

But most divorces can be “saved” by mediation, at least on some of the issues. Perhaps you agree to come together and decide matters of child custody and visitation, but remain hung up on property division. That’s okay. The fewer issues that have to come before the court, the better. You can resolve some and still reserve others for litigation.

At West Coast ADR Law Group, we believe in presenting all of the options to our clients. We have experienced mediators and litigators who can work together with you to see that you get the best deal possible when you divorce your spouse. We will never encourage our clients to run up exorbitant legal bills litigating matters they could easily resolve through a few mediation sessions.

Keeping The Holidays Stress-Free

The holiday season can be very tough on divorced parents, both custodial and noncustodial alike. If you’re newly divorced, you may be wondering which of your old family traditions to keep and which you could start as your own. If you’ve been divorced for some time, you may already be dreading the seasonal shuffle of having to share holidays and keep track of the parenting schedule. However, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve signed your final paperwork, the holidays are bound to come with some challenges.

One of the most important things you can do during this season is keep communication open between you and your children and your ex, if possible. Take some time before the holidays begin and talk with your children about their fears and what’s important to them. Continue to check in periodically. Divorced parents are often surprised at what their children really want or need out of the holiday season, and a great deal of stress can be avoided by making expectations and goals clear from the start.

As difficult as it may be, it’s almost important for you to be positive about your children spending time with your ex. It’s hard to be separated from your children during this time of family celebrations, but acting disappointed or put out when it’s time for your children to visit with your ex just makes the situation more stressful for all involved.

It can also be a good idea to take some time to reflect after the holidays are over as well. Think about what worked and what didn’t or any situations that were particularly stressful. Consider making a plan with your ex — and even getting it put into the official court order — for how you will handle these aspects differently next year.

Source: Huffington Post Canada, “15 Tips for Managing a Divorce Over Christmas,” Alyson Jones, accessed Dec. 17, 2015

Canadian Celebrity and Wife Decide to Part Ways

The path to and through divorce is different for every couple. Some couples deal with emotional, financial and even safety issues that make it difficult or impossible to work through a divorce in an amicable fashion. Other couples are able to seek divorce through a collaborative law process, working together to close out a marriage that just didn’t work out. While no one right method of divorce exists, it is true that collaborative divorce can be simpler in terms of arguments and amicable agreements about child custody and other issues.

One celebrity couple with ties to Canada seems to be working through the divorce process in an amicable fashion. The couple is David Foster and his wife Yolanda. David Foster is a Canadian and a music producer known for work in major motion pictures and television shows.

The couple was married after both individuals had experienced at least one divorce. Yolanda had been previously married and has three children ranging from age 16 to 20 from that marriage. David had been married three times prior to marrying Yolanda. He has five children from previous relationships.

According to reports, David and Yolanda Foster did not have any children together. In 2012, Yolanda contracted Lyme disease, and there is some speculation that marital woes began around that time, particularly in light of a statement released by the couple to news media. In the statement, the couple said they enjoyed their nine years together and that they experienced what they called “inevitable challenges” in their marriage. The couple listed blended families, careers and health issues as some challenges they experienced.

The statement from the couple seems to indicate they are seeking an amicable end to marriage. Working with a legal professional, you can also use collaborative law to seek an amicable divorce.

Source: Global News, “David Foster, Yolanda Foster divorcing after 9 years of marriage,” Chris Jancelewicz, Dec. 02, 2015

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration can be a very useful tool for those going through a divorce in Canada. The method in which arbitrations are handled is governed by the Ontario Arbitration Act, which went into effect in 1991. The arbitration process can also be used for other types of legal issues, including domestic, private and commercial cases.

By definition, arbitration is when the two parties involved in a dispute work through the issues with a neutral third party until a “final and binding” decision is made. The arbitration process is designed to let the parties retain more control over the proceedings and final divorce settlement. It is usually most beneficial for those who are divorcing amicably or already have a fairly clear idea of how they would like to divide their assets.

Arbitrations also offer the benefit of allowing the parties to work through and resolve the divorce process more quickly than a trial would usually take. One reason for this is that an arbitration allows for the parties to present their evidence without needing direct witnesses testimony — documents and written arguments are acceptable.

However, one aspect that is important to be aware of is that you cannot appeal an arbitrator’s decision. The final decision is legally binding and completely final, so it is absolutely crucial that you understand what the decision means for you and how it might affect your later on. A family lawyer is the best resource when it comes to understanding if arbitration is a good option for your case. A lawyer can also help you prepare for the proceedings and let you know what to expect once a decision has been made.

Source: FindLaw, “What is arbitration and when is it appropriate?,” accessed Dec. 23, 2015